NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Lightweight Pressurized Structures Including Inflatables
PROPOSAL TITLE:High-Strength and Optically Transparent Fiber-Reinforced Composites

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mo-Sci Corp
P.O. Box 2
Rolla, MO 65401-8277
(573) 364-2338

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mariano   Velez
P.O. Box 2
Rolla, MO  65401-8277
(573) 364-2338

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
For many applications there exists a need for mechanically strong composite materials of high optical quality and transparency equivalent to window glass. One method of increasing the mechanical strength of polymers is to reinforce them with high-strength cylindrical glass fibers. In most cases, however, the introduction of glass fibers into an optically transparent polymer destroys the transparency of the polymer and an object at distances greater than a few feet cannot be clearly seen through them. MO-SCI Corporation proposes to develop novel large high-strength and optically transparent, flexible panels of glass fiber reinforced polymer matrix composites, as light-weight structural components, by layering a polymer matrix reinforced with glass ribbons (micron-size glass fibers with rectangular cross section) and a tough compliant polyurethane film. MO-SCI Corporation has produced research quantities of rigid epoxy-matrix composites which use glass ribbons that are index matched to the polymer matrix to be used as high-strength windows as described in U.S. patent 5,665,450 and licensed to MO-SCI Corporation. The objective of this proposal is to use this technology to produce nearly defect-free composites as demonstration samples for marketing structurally strong and impact resistant composites that are optically transparent.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The main application of high-strength ribbon-reinforced flexible composites is as a component of light-weight inflatable structures, as requested by the NASA SBIR Subtopic. These flexible composites may be opaque if carbon-fibers, for instance are used, or transparent, if glass ribbons are used. Transparent flexible composites may have applications as deployable domes for the Mars environment for plant growing. Rigid transparent composites may have applications as high-strength windows. Rigid and opaque composites, reinforced with glass ribbons may have applications as cryotanks, as the glass ribbons may offer a much lower permeability than circular fibers.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The potential applications of high-strength rigid transparent composites described in this proposal include protective eyeglasses and face shields, high security display cases, airplane windows and fighter jet cockpit canopies, transparent armor and security shields, display and filter elements, blast-resistant windows in buildings, and solar cell substrates. These composites are light-weight, as compared to laminated high-strength window glass or ceramic-based composites, and would be of high value in Home Land Security applications, structural windows for resisting hurricanes and tornadoes, and as protective armor for vehicles and airplanes.

NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.

Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Fluid Storage and Handling
Radiation Shielding Materials

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19