Calumet, MI, United States
Calumet, MI, United States
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

A metal matrix composite article that includes at least first and second regions, first and second reinforcement materials, a metal matrix composite material occupying the second region of the body and comprising a metal matrix material and the second reinforcement component, a preform positioned in the first region of the body and infiltrated by at least the metal matrix material of the metal matrix composite material. The article further includes a transition region located proximate an outer surface of the preform that includes a distribution of the second reinforcement component comprising a density increasing according to a second gradient in a direction toward the outer surface of the preform.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 100.00K | Year: 2014

Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) have been used in conjunction with commercial DC casting of ingots. This project will utilize the the EMF fields in with squeeze casting to demonstrate the ability to refine grain structures beyond what is possible with conventional processing techniques. High strength ultralightweight components with improved ductility will now replace heavier steel or iron based solutions.


Grant
Agency: Department of Defense | Branch: Army | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 472.86K | Year: 2012

REL has demonstrated that Squeeze Casting a is viable process for encapsulation of ceramic tiles for Warfighter protection systems. The SBIR Phase 1 has demonstrated that squeeze cast encapsulation can offer the following process attributes: a. Use of low tolerance as-pressed tiles, b. Control of gap sizes between tiles in cast panels, c. Ability to use multiple matrix light metal alloys for the encapsulation of multiple tiles, d. Scaleable to large panel sizes, as well as, e. Cost Effective processing solution. The use of unfinished as-pressed tiles eliminates an expensive finish machining process for SiC tiles. The tile gap control in multiple matrix alloys can be controlled by the REL designed pick and place die transfer tool. Specific matrix alloys chosen for this work are commercially pure Al and 5083. The 2 foot square nominal panel size for phase one is capable to be expanded to the larger 3 foot square nominal panel size for SBIR Phase 2 in the current press located at REL. The Squeeze Casting process of the encapsulation panels can be performed with processing times that are similar to die cast cycle times. More optimization should be performed to determine optimal Manufacturing cell design.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 179.82K | Year: 2012

This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is focused on developing a one-piece functionally graded hybrid (fiber/particle) reinforced aluminum alloy matrix automobile brake rotor. Composite brake rotors have substantial weight savings potential, but costs and performance have limited their adoption. In this project we will explore the concept of a one-piece, hybrid reinforced rotor. The new rotor will have significantly better properties and lifespan compared to conventional materials due to the functional reinforcement gradient (FRG) across the braking surface and the tailored macro-interfaces. While the project will benefit from our experience with FRG motorcycle brake rotors, the proposed work is not a direct extension because of unique challenges associated with it. A brake rotor has three functional zones: a) friction interface (heating zone), b) venting (cooling zone) and c) mounting hub (torque transfer zone). Each of these zones must have specific material attributes for the rotor to function properly. The development of the FRG transition interfaces between these zones is the focus of the Phase I effort. This work will address challenges related to the development of the squeeze casting process, die and preform design, and the control of the microstructure and properties of the aforementioned zones and interfaces.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes weight savings in automobiles, increased fuel efficiency, and reduced emissions. This technology will also help in reducing weight in military vehicles, which will increase their loading capacity, reduce fuel consumption, and increase mission lengths. It is also expected that the longer life of the proposed brake rotors will reduce the related maintenance requirements. The company has partnered with the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, which will allow students to gain hands-on training. This functionally-graded one piece rotor will be a first-of-its-kind product in this market segment, which is expected to create a strong competitive position for our team. The deployment of this technology may also help to spur the development of other lightweight automobile components. Finally, successful development of this product, and the subsequent commercial transition in Phase II will result in the creation of high-paying jobs in the domestic economy.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase I | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a metal matrix composite concrete cutting diamond blade. This project has the potential to address a distinct need in a $2 billion domestic market. The technology for cutting concrete hasn't changed in over 20 years and the industry continues to deal with the same issues: blade overheat and warping, slow cutting speeds, multiple blade compositions, loud cutting and blade "sing", and short blade life. The proposed technology addresses each of these issues; it will be commercialized by working with industry partners to insure a faster transition of developed technology from lab concept to industrial application. These partnerships will result in a product line that will permit new domestic manufacturing operations (a majority of current blades are imported) and a reduced environmental impact (harmful byproducts are a result of today's blade manufacturing processes). The 200% increase in blade life and faster cutting operations enabled by this technology will reduce overall operating costs for users. Finally, the aluminum-diamond metal matrix composite (MMC) technology to be utilized will find utility in additional applications, such as stone polishing, stone quarries, and wear and thermal management applications. The proposed aluminum MMC diamond blade will have significantly better thermal properties and longer life span compared to conventional blades. Conventional concrete blades have diamond particles embedded in segments within an iron (Fe)-cobalt (Co) matrix. The Fe-Co matrix hardness has to be changed for different concrete aggregate to enable effective cutting. When mismatched, the blade will overheat and warp, becoming unusable. The proposed diamond MMC blade material has high thermal conductivity that rapidly draws the heat from the cutting zone, thereby avoiding these issues, while increasing the life of the blade. The cast MMC blade will include MMC diamond-containing segments attached to an MMC hub which can be tailored for stiffness, noise mitigation, and optimized thermal properties. The Phase I project will focus on design and development including 1) an optimized segment composition, 2) geometry of the segments and the hub, and 3) an MMC casting process optimized for blade efficiency and life. Finally, field testing will be conducted to verify and optimize blade performance. Process scale-up will follow to meet specific product requirements as required by end users of the technology.


Grant
Agency: National Science Foundation | Branch: | Program: SBIR | Phase: Phase II | Award Amount: 487.84K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is focused on developing a one-piece functionally graded hybrid (fiber/particle) reinforced aluminum alloy matrix automobile brake rotor. Composite brake rotors offer increased weight savings, higher braking performance, and increased component life. Current composite rotors on the market have a cost barrier, which limits mass production on high-production vehicle platforms. This project will assist in the deployment of a one-piece, hybrid reinforced rotor. These rotors will utilize functional reinforcement gradient (FRG) technology across the braking surface and macro-interfaces. The technology development work requires addressing challenges related to the development of our squeeze casting process, die and preform design, and controlling the microstructure/properties of the aforementioned surfaces and interfaces. The proposed work will extend the current state of the art one-dimensional FRG technology to a higher-order gradient, specific to a vented one-piece rotor for a vehicle application. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes increased mass efficiency in all transportation vehicles. The project findings will address a multi-billion dollar automotive brake market but also can be leveraged across multiple other vehicle platforms. The technology can be also used in both structural and drivetrain applications further increasing fuel efficiency, reducing fuel emissions, and reducing lifecycle costs of vehicular components. Composite components in ancillary markets such as the military and trucking will also benefit from the customizability of material properties with the FRG technology. Increasing the agility of military vehicles for the Warfighter, reduction of in-theatre operating/maintenance costs, and rolling weight reduction in class 8 vehicles are examples of realized project benefits.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 150.00K | Year: 2014

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop a metal matrix composite concrete cutting diamond blade. This project has the potential to address a distinct need in a $2 billion domestic market. The technology for cutting concrete hasnt changed in over 20 years and the industry continues to deal with the same issues: blade overheat and warping, slow cutting speeds, multiple blade compositions, loud cutting and blade sing, and short blade life. The proposed technology addresses each of these issues; it will be commercialized by working with industry partners to insure a faster transition of developed technology from lab concept to industrial application. These partnerships will result in a product line that will permit new domestic manufacturing operations (a majority of current blades are imported) and a reduced environmental impact (harmful byproducts are a result of todays blade manufacturing processes). The 200% increase in blade life and faster cutting operations enabled by this technology will reduce overall operating costs for users. Finally, the aluminum-diamond metal matrix composite (MMC) technology to be utilized will find utility in additional applications, such as stone polishing, stone quarries, and wear and thermal management applications.

The proposed aluminum MMC diamond blade will have significantly better thermal properties and longer life span compared to conventional blades. Conventional concrete blades have diamond particles embedded in segments within an iron (Fe)-cobalt (Co) matrix. The Fe-Co matrix hardness has to be changed for different concrete aggregate to enable effective cutting. When mismatched, the blade will overheat and warp, becoming unusable. The proposed diamond MMC blade material has high thermal conductivity that rapidly draws the heat from the cutting zone, thereby avoiding these issues, while increasing the life of the blade. The cast MMC blade will include MMC diamond-containing segments attached to an MMC hub which can be tailored for stiffness, noise mitigation, and optimized thermal properties. The Phase I project will focus on design and development including 1) an optimized segment composition, 2) geometry of the segments and the hub, and 3) an MMC casting process optimized for blade efficiency and life. Finally, field testing will be conducted to verify and optimize blade performance. Process scale-up will follow to meet specific product requirements as required by end users of the technology.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: SMALL BUSINESS PHASE II | Award Amount: 571.84K | Year: 2013

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project is focused on developing a one-piece functionally graded hybrid (fiber/particle) reinforced aluminum alloy matrix automobile brake rotor. Composite brake rotors offer increased weight savings, higher braking performance, and increased component life. Current composite rotors on the market have a cost barrier, which limits mass production on high-production vehicle platforms. This project will assist in the deployment of a one-piece, hybrid reinforced rotor. These rotors will utilize functional reinforcement gradient (FRG) technology across the braking surface and macro-interfaces. The technology development work requires addressing challenges related to the development of our squeeze casting process, die and preform design, and controlling the microstructure/properties of the aforementioned surfaces and interfaces. The proposed work will extend the current state of the art one-dimensional FRG technology to a higher-order gradient, specific to a vented one-piece rotor for a vehicle application.

The broader impact/commercial potential of this project includes increased mass efficiency in all transportation vehicles. The project findings will address a multi-billion dollar automotive brake market but also can be leveraged across multiple other vehicle platforms. The technology can be also used in both structural and drivetrain applications further increasing fuel efficiency, reducing fuel emissions, and reducing lifecycle costs of vehicular components. Composite components in ancillary markets such as the military and trucking will also benefit from the customizability of material properties with the FRG technology. Increasing the agility of military vehicles for the Warfighter, reduction of in-theatre operating/maintenance costs, and rolling weight reduction in class 8 vehicles are examples of realized project benefits.


Patent
REL Inc | Date: 2016-01-18

A metal matrix composite article is described that includes a metal component, a ceramic component, and a lubricious component. The metal matrix composite article has a first surface and a second surface. The lubricious component is present in an amount that is highest at the first surface and is lowest at the second surface. The ceramic component is present in an amount that is highest at the first surface and is lowest at the second surface. The metal component is present in an amount that is highest at the second surface and is lowest at the first surface. In some cases, the metal matrix composite article is a wear plate for a fifth wheel hitch.


Patent
REL Inc | Date: 2015-11-06

Some embodiments provide methods and systems for casting articles. One example of a method includes providing and positioning a thermal blanket within a mold cavity and then introducing a molten material into the mold cavity and into contact with the thermal blanket. The method allows the molten material to remain in a molten state during a dwell time that extends from the introduction of the molten material at least until the mold cavity is filled. In another example, a method of using a thermal blanket includes keeping a molten material in a molten state during a dwell time extending from first introduction of the molten material until pressurization. Systems including a variety of mold types, one or more thermal blankets, and in some cases preforms and/or inserts are also provided. Also described is a novel thermal blanket and method of manufacturing the same.

Loading REL Inc collaborators
Loading REL Inc collaborators