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SBIR/STTR

Double Bag VARTM for High Temperature Composites, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Double Bag VARTM for High Temperature Composites, Phase I
Cost and size are limiting factors in efforts to produce high strength, high stiffness, and high temperature composite parts. To address these issues, new processes to lower cost for high temperature composite manufacturing need to be explored. An obstacle for high temperature processing of composites is the creation of by-products or volatiles during cure. An innovative technology, Double Bag Assisted Resin Transfer Molding (DBARTM), has been developed by Dr. Tan Hou at NASA Langley that deals with this obstacle. The technology has only been developed for phenolic resins which is a lower temperature curing resin than is required for many high temperature composite component applications. This process has been shown to reduce the amount of volatiles trapped in the laminates. The key is innovative volatile control during the DBARTM fabrication process. The process results in low-void to void-free quality laminates and fulfils a critically needed technology gap that will enable insertion of an important class of high performance materials into commercial, military and aerospace market places at an accelerated pace. The primary technical objective of the proposed work is to show the feasibility of the use of the NASA DBARTM technology for high temperature polyimides composite manufacturing. In Phase I, work will focus on material selection, process development, and fabrication and test of flat panels of both phenolic and polyimides. At the end of Phase I, the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) is expected to be 2-3. In Phase II, the DBARTM process will be used with a polyimide resin system to fabricate a full-scale prototype of the initial application. More »

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