NASA SBIR 2015 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 15-1 Z2.01-9432
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Large-Scale Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) Structures, Materials, and Manufacturing Processes
PROPOSAL TITLE: Laser Additive Manufacturing of Large Scale Polymer Matrix Composite Structures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Automated Dynamics
407 Front Street
Schenectady, NY 12305 - 1036
(518) 377-6471

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Zachary August
407 Front St
Schenectady, NY 12305 - 1036
(518) 377-6471 Extension :274

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. David Hauber
407 Front Street
Schenectady, NY 12305 - 1036
(518) 377-6471 Extension :226

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 3
End: 4

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Large-Scale Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) Structures, Materials, and Manufacturing Processes is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
A laser heating system (LHS) for the automated fiber placement (AFP) of thermoplastic composites (TPC) has recently been developed by Automated Dynamics to technology readiness level (TRL) three. This system represents the state of the art in out of autoclave, additive manufacturing of advanced polymer matrix composite (PMC) structures. It is particularly suited for manufacture of large scale structures as there is no oven or autoclave requirement while being compatible with a wide variety of thermoplastic polymers. Now that the prototype system has been developed, additional testing is required before it will be ready for production-level manufacturing. This proposal seeks to optimize and validate the Laser AFP process while advancing to TRL 4. This will be accomplished through coupon level mechanical testing to support predictable performance, development of additively manufactured tooling concepts to enable rapid development of structures with complex geometries, and a manufacturing demonstration of this effort embodied in a structure analogous to a pressure vessel.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The potential for applications within NASA are endless. Obvious applications include pressure vessels (including large cryotanks), composite crew modules, rocket motor casings, shrouds, satellite components (including zero CTE laminates), flywheel energy storage, and many others. The ability to 3D print structures has caught the public's imagination and is currently in use on the international space station. The ability to 3D print advanced thermoplastic composite structures opens up entirely new applications and opportunities.
Additionally, the technology can be extended to other material systems including metal matrix composites (MMC) and ceramic matrix composites (CMC). Additively manufactured tools can be automatically fiber placed with continuous fiber reinforced metals or ceramics. Automated Dynamics and Fabrisonics have collaborated on aluminum matrix composites AFP. This has applications for higher temperature applications and selective reinforcement aluminum structures. Similarly, extremely high temperatures can be achieved with AFP ceramic precursors on 3D printed tools. However, in this case, post processes are required to paralyze the ceramic precursor. Applications include rocket motor components, heat shields, and thermal protection systems for hypersonic vehicles.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Thermoplastic AFP technology has made great strides in reducing cycle times as compared to thermosets, due to their ability to be consolidated Out of Autoclave (OOA). However, traditional hot gas torches do have some limitations with respect to speed; these limitations serve as a barrier to entry for a variety of applications and markets where higher volumes necessitate faster throughput.
The laser consolidation technology in development at Automated Dynamics has thus far shown promise of at least three times the processing speed of traditional hot gas torch solutions. The addition of additively manufactured tooling will provide the capability to additively manufacture true 3D composite structures. Full commercialization of this technology will allow us to effectively engage many markets where higher throughput needs are necessary. Examples include several applications in markets such as: Automotive, Electronics, Commercial Aviation, Energy, Medical, Chemical Processing, and General Industrial. Automated Dynamics currently manufactures a host of products in these industries such as plain bearings for pumps used in oil and gas exploration, tail rotor drive shafts for military helicopters, and cannulation tubes for medical applications. All of these products stand to realize significant manufacturing benefits from the improvements enabled by Laser AFP.

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.)
In Situ Manufacturing
Joining (Adhesion, Welding)
Lasers (Cutting & Welding)
Lasers (Machining/Materials Processing)
Processing Methods

Form Generated on 04-23-15 15:37