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SBIR/STTR

Long Out-time, Out-of-Autoclave Cure Composites, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Long Out-time, Out-of-Autoclave Cure Composites, Phase II
As the size of composite parts exceed that of even the largest autoclaves, new out-of-autoclave processes and materials are necessary to achieve the same level of performance as autoclave cured composites. Many of the new out-of-autoclave prepreg systems can be used to manufacture high quality composites initially but the lay-up time for producing quality parts is limited by the short shelf-life at ambient conditions. The resin advancement, due to long lay-up times, commonly causes variations in fiber volume and higher void content in the cured structures. Also, current out-of-autoclave prepreg systems do not provide the same level of performance, especially damage tolerance, as many current autoclave cured prepreg systems. It is the objective of this work to develop a matrix and prepreg system for out-of-autoclave processing that possesses a year plus shelf-life while also providing an excellent balance of composite properties and damage tolerance. As an additional functionality, the out-of-autoclave prepreg system will be developed to have inherent skin-core self adhesive characteristics so that film adhesives may not be required for designs with honeycomb structures. It is expected that the TRL will be 6 at the end of this Phase 2 program. More »

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