SBIR-STTR Award

3D Reinforced C/SiC
Profile last edited on: 9/8/2022

Program
SBIR
Agency
MDA
Total Award Amount
$1,616,751
Award Phase
2
Principal Investigator
John W Steinbeck
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Physical Sciences Inc (AKA:PSI Technology)

20 New England Business Center
Andover, MA 01810
   (978) 689-0003
   contact@psicorp.com
   www.psicorp.com
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   03
County:   Essex

Phase I

Phase I year
2021
Phase I Amount
$149,995
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to demonstrate a Direct Z-Pin Insertion (DZI) process for local application of 3D reinforcements in high temperature composite structures (2000F-4500F). The DZI process inserts rigid composite pins normal (through thickness) to a 2D composite preform prior to cure. The pins act to improve both interlaminar tension and shear strength in the final composite structure. During the Phase I program PSI will demonstrate the DZI processes will preserve in plane mechanical properties while improving interlaminar and shear strength of a 2D laminate by at least a factor of two. We will perform an economic analysis showing that localized Z-pinning can be a cost effective, production ready technique for reducing erosion as a result of aerothermal shear in hypersonic vehicle bodies constructed from high temperature composites. Working with a vehicle integrator and the government, we will identify a subelement structure and test conditions to demonstrate the effectiveness of Z-pinning reinforcements in hypersonic flight conditions during a follow-on Phase II program. Approved for Public Release | 20-MDA-10643 (3 Dec 20)

Phase II

Phase II year
2022 (last award dollars: 2022)
Phase II Amount
$1,466,756
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) proposes to advance the Direct Z-Pin Insertion (DZI) process for local application of 3D reinforcements in high temperature composite structures (2000F-4500F). The DZI process inserts rigid composite pins normal (through thickness) to a 2D polymer composite preform prior to cure. DZI is designed to affordably provide the needed 3D reinforcement yet enable 2D laminate design and fabrication. The pins improve both interlaminar tension and shear strength in the final composite structure. During the Phase II program PSI will optimize DZI process parameters to maximize enhancements to the interlaminar properties of high temperature C-SiC CMC. The DZI process is performed at the polymer composite level making the capability applicable to other material forms such as C-C. In addition to enhancing interlaminar strength, DZI is a valuable process aid for homogenizing the through thickness density of thick laminates by providing pathways for gas exit and polymer reinfiltration. Benefits of applying DZI as a preform stabilization tool to avoid ply wrinkling will also be demonstrated. An economic analysis, identifying DZI automation requirements for greater affordability, will be provided. Interaction with OEMS will define demonstration articles that can be built and tested during a Phase III program. Approved for Public Release | 22-MDA-11102 (22 Mar 22)