NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 A1.01-8592
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Structural Efficiency-Tailored Airframe & Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Interchain transesterification as a solid-state composite welding mechanism

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
ATSP Innovations
60 Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 417-2374

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jacob Meyer
60 Hazelwood Drive
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 778-4400

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jacob Meyer
60 Hazelwood Dr
Champaign, IL 61820 - 7460
(217) 778-4400

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Structural Efficiency-Tailored Airframe & Structures 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)
We will develop novel composite structures of carbon fiber reinforced high performance aromatic thermosetting copolyester (ATSP) resin composites (ATSP/C) being solid-state bonded to primary metal spacecraft structures in order to build lightweight elements with tailorable structural properties without necessitating additional uses of adhesives or mechanical joints. The ITR bonding approach uniquely enables chemical interfacial (surface) self-welding mechanism effectively consolidating pre-cured parts through a smooth strong and continuous bond line. The ITR bonding fully solid-state process, which eliminates approaches that rely on uncured polymer or a meltable interstitial phase. The ITR ensures physical integrity of joint members of the structure and the reversible adhesive within the range of temperatures experienced during day/night cycles in space. The ITR is the first viable composite welding scheme for fully cured thermoset composites. Tailorable ATSP chemistry can be adapted to nearly any polymer processing technique by adjustments in oligomer structure providing unique advantages compared to conventional polymer matrices. In Phase I, we will develop an out-of-autoclave fabrication method to produce solid-state bond consolidated carbon fiber reinforced ATSP composite laminae and ATSP coated aerospace grade metal substrates. Additionally, we will perform physical characterization, thermomechanical property measurements and performance analyses of ITR bonded specimens. Additionally, we will develop thermal-electrical-mechanical finite element analysis models for optimized composite design with tailorable physical properties.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The solid-state ITR bonding approach could potentially find an application space in spacecraft technologies of NASA missions. For example, cryogenic liquid hydrogen (LH2) tanks used on Earth-departure weight critical architectures and in-space propellant depots to sustain deep space missions could be produced using the solid-state ITR mechanism. Particularly, metal and composite layers of composite overwrapped pressure vessels (COPVs) can be strongly combined to prevent buckling, leaking as well as minimizing thermal effects. Also, construction of on-site habitable architectures requirements of NASA's foreseen deep space missions beyond low-Earth orbit would be facilitated via orbital replacement units transporting ITR joinable high disassembled packing factor building blocks to build next-generation structures. Additionally, on-going Solar Electric Propulsion project requirements of readjustable (folding/rolling) solar arrays configurations would be enriched through various other arrangements enabled through automated ITR bonding assembly.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The ITR bonding scheme could have a broad impact on other U.S. agencies and particularly aerospace industry is to promote welding-like bonding scheme along with cost, labor and material savings for primary aerospace composite structures. Regarding DARPA/Lockheed Martin X-55 Advanced Composite Cargo Aircraft demonstration, utilizing bonded composite components and fuselage structure, substantial weight savings on an aircraft frame were enabled by simply eliminating rivet and fastener use (more than 85%) along with other improvements in fabrication and assembly stages. Also, through a reliable and leak-tight arrangement of fibers, failure of cryogenic fuel tanks could be prevented (Space X Falcon 9 Rocket explosion). Similar improvements can be obtained in polymer composite or metal used structural elements through application of ITR bonding.

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.)
Heat Exchange
In Situ Manufacturing
Joining (Adhesion, Welding)
Simulation & Modeling
Smart/Multifunctional Materials
Spacecraft Design, Construction, Testing, & Performance (see also Engineering; Testing & Evaluation)

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59