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Horsham, PA, United States

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 959.48K | Year: 2014

Advanced composite material systems are vital to the development of lightweight, multi-functional Army missile systems. In addition to reducing the weight of the structure, composite materials provide the ability to expand the function of the structure by tailoring stiffness and strength characteristics for numerous applications such as solid rocket motor cases, missile airframes, missile guidance housings, as well as many launch tubes and launcher primary structures. The AMRDEC Weapons Development and Integration Directorate has identified a need to understand the operational fitness of such structures following impact events from a wide range of energy levels. The objective of the proposed Phase II research program is to develop and demonstrate an analysis tool that allows designers to evaluate post impact residual strength of composite structures. A user element (UEL) subroutine for use with commercially available analysis codes is proposed. A new shell element that offers advantages in both the economy and reliability of computations is to be demonstrated. This approach will link the UEL subroutine to a nonlinear material model to evaluate progressive damage and a shear correction model that accurately predicts the transverse response of impacted composite structures. Concurrently, material characterization and database development will be conducted to support implementation.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 99.99K | Year: 2014

Missile modernization and future missile designs are utilizing more sophisticated and higher powered electronics in the pursuit of extended missile range, improved accuracy and precision targeting for striking enemy threats. Tight packaging and sophistication of these electronic systems can generate significant heat loads, which needs to be dissipated efficiently in order to maintain functionality and survivability. This program proposes to develop a cost-effective composite airframe with integrated, interlaminar heat spreaders that will provide high in-plane conductivity for thermal management without structural degradation. To seek a balance among cost, thermal capabilities, and structural properties, the program will perform trade studies among commercially available heat spreaders (e.g., flexible graphite sheets currently being employed in cell phone and laptop industry) as well as explore hybrid pitch-pan fabrics, spread tow carbon nanotube composite sheets, and metalized coated carbon fabrics. In addition to material evaluation, this program will evaluate design and processing methodologies to efficiently integrate the heat spreader into airframe type composite structures with minimal retrofitting of current fabrication procedures (e.g., filament winding). This research will directly support the Army"s need for improved thermal management to protect high value, sensitive guidance and control electronics.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 98.80K | Year: 2015

Guidance and navigation components within missile systems are vulnerable to performance degradation as a result of vibrations generated by neighboring components. Conventional methods to alleviate this degradation include installing passive vibration-damping materials or adding additional material to shift resonance frequencies. Both of these approaches add parasitic weight to the system. With recent advances in additive manufacturing technologies, components and structures that can benefit from cellular design and optimization are now being realized. Materials Sciences Corporation (MSC) will team with the University of Pittsburgh (PITT) to develop analysis tools for determining cellular architectures, frequency based topology optimization codes that make use of cellular architectures, and design tools to develop cellular structures. The overall objective of the Phase I effort will be to demonstrate the proposed cellular optimization procedure via analysis and validate by experiment.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Air Force | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 743.05K | Year: 2014

ABSTRACT: Composite materials often represent the most weight efficient and lowest cost solutions for airframe structures. Many of these structures are in areas that are susceptible to incidental impact damage and require adequate residual strength after impact for specified periods of service. Current design methodologies require designers to predict the residual response of full-scale composite structures based on costly and time consuming small-scale tests. Methods for translating the response of standard damage tolerance characterization tests to reliable predictions of the damage tolerance of full-scale composite structures have not been demonstrated. Under this program, Materials Sciences Corporation (MSC) and The Boeing Corporation will collaborate to demonstrate the feasibility of using progressive damage models developed at MSC to predict the impact and residual strength response of full-scale multi-bay composite airframe structures. Data generated under the Phase II program will be used to mature the unified test and modeling methodologies established during the prior effort by MSC, leading to the publication of a new proposed damage tolerance test standard. This standardization effort will be led by Dr. Dan Adams of Alveus Engineering, acting as subcontractor to MSC. Dr. Dan Adams and MSC will brief the ASTM D30 committee and the Federal Aviation Administration over the course of the program to obtain feedback on the implementation of the standard, and make improvements accordingly. This proposed standard will be validated via round-robin testing at MSC and the Boeing Company. BENEFIT: Materials Sciences Corporation expects that this SBIR program will yield a methodology for simulating the damage tolerance responses of composite structures that has been validated through comparison with experimental data. This validated methodology will enable a reduction in time and funding resources required to demonstrate that damage tolerance requirements have been met for military and commercial aircraft components.

Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Navy | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 750.00K | Year: 2014

In this proposal, Materials Sciences Corporation (MSC) and its manufacturing partner Seemann Composites Inc. (SCI) have defined several synergistic material science innovations that have the potential to lower the cost, or increase the performance at the current cost, of surface combatant sonar domes. Material configurations (lamination sequence and thickness) that are sufficiently acoustically transparent in the frequency range of interest for the sonar system will be evaluated simultaneously with mechanical (structural) properties required to resist operational loads. The SBIR team will complete design studies, assemble a technical data package to show that design requirements are met, and fabricate tooling necessary to manufacture and deliver a surface combatant sonar dome.

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