NASA SBIR 2006 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Material Concepts for Lightweight Structure Technology Development
PROPOSAL TITLE:Magnesium MMC for Aerospace Structures

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Technology Assessment & Transfer, Inc.
133 Defense Hwy Suite 212
Annapolis, MD 21401-8907
(410) 224-3710

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David   Palaith
133 Defense Hwy Suite 212
Annapolis, MD  21401-8907
(410) 987-8988

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT ( Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
NASA will return to the IIS by 2014 and the moon by 2020. To accomplish these missions, NASA will exploit to the maximum degree possible the Apollo architecture and especially the lessons learned and technological advances that have occurred over the intervening 40 years in building robust, cost effective, efficient, and, partly reusable launch, lander, explorer, and resupply vehicles. In support of this effort, Technology Assessment & Transfer (TA&T) proposes to develop a magnesium metal matrix composite (MMC) for use as aerospace structural members. This material exhibits three times the specific stiffness of the best aluminum-lithium alloys and two times that of PMCs. TA&T will demonstrate the feasibility and practicality of a low temperature method for achieving high loading of ceramic particles in a magnesium matrix that will enable a cast or extruded structural material of non-uniform cross-section exhibiting the unusual combination of light weight, high specific stiffness and strength, radiation shielding, and low cost. The MMC will be protected from corrosion by a unique thin film coating designed specifically to prevent corrosion of aluminum and magnesium alloys.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA went to the moon with 1960s technology. The President's Vision program will use technology developed during the intervening 40+ years. NASA is proposing to use technology at least TRL-6. Thus, NASA cannot develop all the needed technology internally ? it will have to use technology developed outside of agency funded research. Magnesium MMCs promises to provide performance characteristics in many areas comparable if not superior to advanced polymer composites, ceramic matrix composites, fiber composites, high performance light weight alloy systems, light weight refractory alloys, hybrid material systems, multifunctional material systems, nano-structured materials. Thus, continued research to expand the global metal matrix market should profoundly impact future NASA mission.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS ( Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The potential commercial market for magnesium MMCs is staggering. The global market predicted for all MMCs predicts a growth rate of 6.3% dominated by the automotive industry as the demand for fuel efficiency compels lighter cars and trucks. It has been predicted that China represents the fastest growing market for MMCs. Magnesium MMCs have been restricted by the difficulty of achieving high loading and by corrosion. The solution of those two problems removes both impediments to market entry.

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.

Launch and Flight Vehicle
Manned-Manuvering Units
Modular Interconnects
Structural Modeling and Tools

Form Printed on 09-08-06 18:19