Form 9.B Project Summary

Chron: 972429

Proposal Number: 12.01-8008A

Project Title: Low Cost Fabrication of High Temperature Polyimide Matrix Composites

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

This project addresses the fabrication of composite materials suitable for high temperature launch vehicle and spacecraft applications, where high specific strength and stiffness reduce weight and increase performance. Organic matrix composites have been formulated which demonstrate good performance at temperatures up to 371 C (700 F). These composites are typically fabricated with polyimide matrix materials, which are difficult to process due to high viscosities, use of solvents, production of volatiles during cure, and high molding temperatures and pressures. The high cost of reactants as well as the toxicity of some components are also significant issues. This fabrication method combines aspects of resin transfer and resin infusion fabrication methods, and allows for removal of solvents and condensation by-products during the cure cycle. This method reduces tooling, labor, material, and scrap costs. A low-cost polyimide, which has demonstrated excellent performance at temperatures up to 371 C (700 F), was selected for development of the process. This material is representative of the entire class of materials, and fabrication methods developed in this program will be directly applicable to other condensation polyimide systems. The utility of the materials and processes will be demonstrated by characterization of their mechanical properties at temperatures up to 371 C (700 F).

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

The proposed program will enable the fabrication of composite parts using intractable polyimide matrix materials by low cost processes. The materials and processes will be immediately applicable to fabrication of aerospace components and cost reductions will allow insertion of this technology into automotive, industrial, and commercial applications.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

james B. Schutz



Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Eileen E. Sammells

Eltron Research Inc

5660 Airport Blvd #105

Boulder , CO 80301-2340