NASA SBIR 2017 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 171 H4.01-8870
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Damage Tolerant Lightweight Pressure Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Impact-Resistant, Damage-Tolerant Composites with STF Energy Absorbing Layers

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
STF Technologies, LLC
58 Darien Road
Newark, DE 19711 - 2024
(716) 799-5935

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Richard Dombrowski
58 Darien Road
Newark, DE 19711 - 2024
(716) 799-5935

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Dr. Richard Dombrowski
58 Darien Road
Newark, DE 19711 - 2024
(716) 799-5935

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

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Damage Tolerant Lightweight Pressure 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 propose an innovative hybrid composite that combines the smart energy-absorbing shear thickening fluids (STF) with validated hard upper torso composite materials to create new STF composite structures with superior impact and damage resistance and self-healing functionality. The proposed innovation directly addresses the subtopic H04.01 need for thin, lightweight composite materials that can be fabricated in complex geometries. STFs are currently being developed by NASA and STF Technologies LLC for use in enhanced puncture and MMOD protective softgoods to improve astronaut survivability. Here, we propose to exploit the unique energy-absorbing properties of shear thickening fluids and prior work by the team, which developed advanced energy absorbing STF materials for sports and military applications, to meet the challenge metrics of a pressure structure composite capable of withstanding 300J of energy in low velocity impact with a structural density of 1.7 g/cm3 or less and thickness of 0.125" or less. The proposed work will combine experiments and modeling to determine the optimal integration of STF with the current best composite materials in the Z-2 suit prototype. The project will leverage the Z-2 suit specific expertise of our partners at UD's Center for Composite Materials (UD-CCM) to develop and test concepts and advance the TRL of new lightweight, damage-tolerant and potentially self-healing hybrid composites. The conformable nature of the STF is amenable to fabrication of complex curved geometries, while the flowable STF within the hybrid laminate can offer healing and leak mitigation after damage. Rapid prototyping, downselection, and validation will be performed in collaboration with UD-CCM, commercialization partners, and NASA scientists and engineers through a combined computational/experimental program with feedback refinement that exploits the unique expertise of all teams.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The proposed advanced hybrid STF composites are of value for a range of space and ground-based applications. NASA commercial applications of the STF composites include use in the hard upper torso (HUT) of advanced exploration suits. Impact-resistant, damage-tolerant STF hybrid composite materials are directly applicable to the development of a planetary exploration suit (Z-2) that can withstand a variety of operational mishaps, including falling onto rocks or other accidental impact. Additional NASA applications could include use as advanced composites to improve the durability and damage tolerance of storage tanks on vehicles or surface habitats, vehicle components, helmets, or other hard components that can benefit from the combination of lightweight, impact-resistance with the potential leak mitigation mode provided by STF.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The growing market for carbon fiber and fiberglass composites represents a substantial market opportunity for STF composite materials offering improved impact resistance and damage tolerance. The overall glass fiber reinforced panel market is expected to grow to $84 billion globally by 2026 (MarketsAndMarkets, 2015). The carbon fiber reinforced composite market is projected at $20 billion+ in 2024 (Sinha, 2016). Applications include:
1.Automotive: an all composite B-pillar was recently demonstrated by researchers at UD CCM under a collaboration with BMW. Carbon fiber composites are also seeing increased demand in automotive due to the desire for increased fuel economy and growing demand for electric vehicles.
2.Storage tanks for water, chemical process, oil and gas industries
5.Consumer sporting goods -a $2.6 billion dollar market (Grand View Research, 2016) for reinforced composites that includes a number of products that can potentially benefit from improved impact and damage tolerance, such as skis, snowboards, surfboards, bicycle frames, tennis rackets, hockey and lacrosse sticks, helmets, and protective equipment
6.Power generation - increasing demand for wind turbine blades is major driver of growth in the fiberglass and carbon fiber reinforced composite market. Composite materials with damage tolerance and tunable damping properties have applications in large- and small-scale generation infrastructure.
7.Construction and building materials

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.)
Destructive Testing
Isolation/Protection/Shielding (Acoustic, Ballistic, Dust, Radiation, Thermal)
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Pressure & Vacuum Systems
Protective Clothing/Space Suits/Breathing Apparatus
Simulation & Modeling
Smart/Multifunctional Materials

Form Generated on 04-19-17 12:59