Throughout NASA's technology roadmap the need for improved materials is called out in nearly all Technology Areas and are highlighted as the enablers behind the structures, devices, vehicles, power, life support, propulsion, entry, and many other systems that NASA develops and uses to fulfill its missions. New materials are required, as are materials with improved properties, combinations of properties and reliability. In the field of propulsion, polymers which yield improved processing for fiber reinforced composites and lower cost while providing high specific strength and stiffness at extreme temperatures are necessary for wide ranging impact to NASA systems. The proposed research will specifically develop low cost resin systems for extreme environments which can be processed out of autoclave and with short mold times therefore allowing lighter weight materials to be designed. Furthermore, the self-healing behavior of the proposed polymer would provide increased reliability and reduced maintenance costs.
The proposed technology has numerous advantages that make it particularly well suited for commercialization, most notably the low cost, low room temperature viscosity and high thermal stability. Commercialization of the resin will be initially focused on aerospace related applications where high temperature stability is required. However, our commercialization efforts will go beyond aerospace, with focus on the transition of the resin to wind turbine and automobile production, which are currently two of the fastest growing areas for composite materials and place a primary focus on resin cost and mold time both of which are unprecedented for the proposed resin.