NASA STTR 2007 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 07-1 T8.01-9822
RESEARCH SUBTOPIC TITLE: Manufacturing Technologies for Human and Robotic Space Exploration
PROPOSAL TITLE: Laser Assisted Machining of Metal Matrix Composites

NAME: Nanohmics, Inc. NAME: Purdue University
STREET: 6201 East Oltorf St, Suite 400 STREET: 585 Purdue Mall
CITY: Austin CITY: West Lafayette
STATE/ZIP: TX  78741 - 1222 STATE/ZIP: IN  47907 - 2088
PHONE: (512) 389-9990 PHONE: (765) 494-9775

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mike Durrett
6201 East Oltorf St, Suite 400
Austin, TX 78741 - 1222
(512) 389-9990

Expected Technology Readiness Level (TRL) upon completion of contract: 5 to 6

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Metal matrix composites (MMC's) are of great interest in aerospace applications where their high specific strength provides a weight saving alternative to standard materials. To date however their use has been limited by the difficulty in fabricating complex shapes. Most current methods for manufacturing MMC's are limited to relatively simple shapes that often still require further machining. It is the machining of MMC's that is the biggest drawback to their application. Grinding or single point diamond turning are generally the methods of choice but in each case tool wear is excessive and surface damage is apparent. A very attractive alternative for rapid machining of MMC's is Laser Assisted Machining (LAM). LAM has been successfully applied to ceramics and some recent work has indicated that LAM can successfully machine MMC's with high material removal rates and no surface damage. In this proposal, Nanohmics Inc. and Dr. Y. C. Shin of Purdue University propose to apply the recently developed technique of laser assisted machining coupled with a specially designed dynamic tooling system to develop a means of machining MMC's into complex shapes.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Metal matrix composites like Al/SiC have the potential of achieving significant weight and cost savings on aircraft structures. These materials are also particularly interesting for space structures because of their excellent specific mechanical properties, high thermal and electrical conductivity, low coefficient of thermal expansion and the absence of out-gassing. The unique thermal properties of aluminum composites, in particular, such as metallic conductivity with co-efficient of expansion that can be tailored down to zero, add to their prospects in aerospace and avionics. Key to their application is a cost effective means to machine these compounds.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Some current examples of MMC's in industry include:
• Chevrolet Corvette and GM S/T pick-up truck drive shafts
• Plymouth Prowler brake rotors and GM EV-1 brake drums
• Toyota diesel engine pistons
• Bicycle components and golf clubs from a variety of producers

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.

Airlocks/Environmental Interfaces
Airport Infrastructure and Safety
Earth-Supplied Resource Utilization
In-situ Resource Utilization
Launch and Flight Vehicle
Manned-Maneuvering Units
Modular Interconnects
Multifunctional/Smart Materials
Portable Life Support
Radiation Shielding Materials
Spaceport Infrastructure and Safety
Structural Modeling and Tools

Form Generated on 09-18-07 17:52