NASA SBIR 2010 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 10-1 X5.02-8392
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Advanced Fabrication and Manufacturing of Metallic and Hybrid Materials for Lightweight Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Aluminum-Lithium Alloy 2050 for Reduced-Weight, Increased-Stiffness Space Structures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Touchstone Research Laboratory, Ltd.
The Millennium Centre, 1142 Middle Creek Road
Triadelphia, WV 26059 - 1139
(304) 547-5800

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jesse M. Blacker
The Millennium Centre, 1142 Middle Creek Road
Triadelphia, WV 26059 - 1139
(304) 547-5800 Extension :305

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 3

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Touchstone Research Laboratory, along with Alcan Rolled Products – Ravenswood WV, has identified the Aluminum-Lithium Alloy 2050 as a potentially game-changing material replacement for current space structural alloys such as Aluminum-Lithium alloy 2195. AA2050 is available in significantly thicker plate gauges than AA2195 and, as a result, can be machined or formed into ribs, stringers or other types of stiffened structures that have increased stiffness and as a result provide overall structural weight savings potential of approximately 15 to 20%. The AA2050, however, needs more development work and understanding in the area of cryogenic material properties, joining, and design potential to be considered for NASA mission vehicles. Touchstone is proposing a Phase I effort to do cryogenic characterization testing, concept design, and computational modeling and analysis to demonstrate the feasibility of using AA2050 for increased-stiffness, reduced-weight space structures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed effort, which seeks to develop lighter-weight, more structurally efficient designs using Aluminum-Lithium alloy 2050 as a replacement for conventional alloys, has broad applications across many NASA missions. Stiffened structures exist in launch vehicles, especially in their tank structures. Tanks have to withstand high stress during launch and provide stability at cryogenic temperatures. The cancellation of the Constellation Program has left the NASA mission for human space flight exploration somewhat undefined, but the proposed technology will have applications to future replacement programs. Essentially, any structure that is part of a NASA mission could benefit from new, lightweight aluminum alloy developments. These structures could include: future launch vehicle, crew vehicle, surface habitats, robotic explorers or cryogenic tank structures.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Numerous non-NASA applications exist for lightweight, improved-stiffness structural designs that utilize Aluminum-Lithium alloy 2050. These applications include both military and commercial applications. The proposed materials will benefit applications for the Department of Defense, including Army, Air Force, & Navy. Aircraft such as the F-35, CH53-K, V-22 could benefit. For the Army, future ground combat vehicles have been considering Titanium in order to reduce weight, but its cost is high, so the aluminum could have application in this area. The Navy is also turning toward aluminum ship designs to reduce weight, and the proposed results could further provide improvements in this area. Commercially, aircraft such as the Boeing 777, Airbus A-380 and Airbus A340-600 are currently utilizing Al-Li alloys in their structures, which could be reduced in weight.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (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.)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Simulation & Modeling

Form Generated on 09-03-10 12:12