SMP bladder tooling has been demonstrated in the government and commercial areas for use in manufacturing composites parts. The results of this program would provide the necessary quantification of performance and increase in scale to increase technology readiness of this technology to additional applications. Government systems that would derive the same benefits would include, but not be limited to, large aerospace vehicles and composite structures operated by DoD. This technology's manufacturing benefits should yield a high potential for private sector commercialization for manufacturing low cost large-scale composites such as aerospace vehicles, rocket bodies, and launch vehicles.
Supporting NASA's Exploration System Mission Directorate, this project's technologies directly address requirements for large-scale, lightweight structures, manufactured in low cost, consistent, reliable process for the Ares launch vehicles. SMP Bladder Tooling offers manufacturing benefits which can reduce labor costs and decrease vehicle weight.