DOD SBIR 24.2 Annual

Active
No
Status
Open
Release Date
April 17th, 2024
Open Date
May 15th, 2024
Due Date(s)
June 12th, 2024
Close Date
June 12th, 2024
Topic No.
N242-072

Topic

Improved Heat Blanket Technology for Aircraft Composite Bonding Operations

Agency

Department of DefenseN/A

Program

Type: SBIRPhase: BOTHYear: 2024

Summary

The Department of Defense (DOD) is seeking proposals for improved heat blanket technology for aircraft composite bonding operations. The objective is to develop a militarized heat blanket that provides uniform heating up to the edge with no heat sinks or dead spots. The technology should be capable of properly curing complex geometries and be compatible with all material combinations and geometries for composite components on current Navy aircraft. The project will be conducted in three phases: Phase I involves developing and demonstrating the feasibility of the technology, Phase II includes performing a high-temperature hot-bonded repair and evaluating the results, and Phase III focuses on successfully performing a range of high-temperature repairs on different layup combinations. The commercial airline industry could also benefit from this technology. The solicitation is open until June 12, 2024. For more information, visit the solicitation link.

Description

OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Advanced Materials; Sustainment

 

OBJECTIVE: Develop technology capable of providing a militarized heat blanket available in various sizes that have uniform heating as far up to the edge as possible, with no heat sinks or dead spots.

 

DESCRIPTION: Composite hot bonder repair sets are used to apply heat and vacuum pressure to composite patches via heat blankets to achieve structurally sound repairs of aircraft structural components in the fleet. Composite aircraft structural repairs at the I-level typically are compromised due to dead spots and uneven/inadequate distribution of heat towards the ends of the blankets, leading to improperly cured repairs if the users do not know the actual heating area of the blanket in relation to the size of the repair. Lack of uniform heating leads to premature failure of bonded parts. Present composite hot bonding technology is unable to properly cure complex geometries, leading to heat sinks or improperly cured parts. The objective of this SBIR topic is to seek technical solutions from industry to this problem. The technology must be capable of providing a militarized heat blanket available in various sizes that have uniform heating as far up to the edge as possible, with no heat sinks or dead spots. Additionally, the Navy desires a system that can be used with all of the material combinations/geometries for composite components on current Navy aircraft. The radome window repair requires a cure at 365 °F (185 °C) for five hours, and then a cure at 400 °F (204.44 °C) for four hours.

 

PHASE I: Develop, design, and demonstrate feasibility of how the chosen technology works, how it could be adapted for the military environment, Develop a test plan. The Phase I effort will include prototype plans to be developed under Phase II.

 

PHASE II: Perform a current required high-temperature hot-bonded repair at a Navy site, evaluate results, determine next steps/path forward. The radome window repair requires a cure at 365 °F (185 °C) for five hours, and then a cure at 400 °F (204.44 °C) for four hours.

 

PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Successfully perform a range of high-temperature repairs on five separate layup combinations. The commercial airline industry has the same issues with heat sinks during composite structural repair and could benefit from this technology.

 

REFERENCES:

Wright Aeronautical Laboratories. “MIL-HDBK-337: Military standardization handbook: Adhesive bonded aerospace structure repair.” Department of Defense, 1 December 1982. http://everyspec.com/MIL-HDBK/MIL-HDBK-0300-0499/MIL_HDBK_337_1865/
“AC_43-214A: Repairs and alterations to composite and bonded aircraft structure.” U.S. Department of Transportation, 23 July 2016. https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_43-214A.pdf
Baker, A. “Bonded composite repair of fatigue-cracked primary aircraft structure.” Composite structures, 47(1-4), 1999, pp. 431-443. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0263-8223(00)00011-8
Katnam, K. B.; Da Silva, L. F. M. and Young, T. M. “Bonded repair of composite aircraft structures: A review of scientific challenges and opportunities.” Progress in Aerospace Sciences, 61,2013, pp. 26-42. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paerosci.2013.03.003
“Composite Bonding & Repair Benefits and Solutions.” Composites World, 8 September 2020. https://www.compositesworld.com/articles/composite-bonding-repair-benefits-and-solutions

 

KEYWORDS: Aircraft; composite; structural; heat-sink; heat blanket; hot bonder