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6 Phase I Selections from the 09.3 Solicitation

(In Topic Number Order)
Benz Oil Company
2724 West Hampton Ave.
Milwuakee, WI 53209
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(414) 442-2900
John Cutcher
DLA 09-001      Awarded: 4/28/2010
Title:Advanced Technologies for Discrete-Parts Manufacturing
Abstract:The majority of manufactured parts for defense system applications are machined using a lubricating cutting fluid. Field data has shown that cutting fluids not only impact tool life and piece geometry of manufactured parts, but can alter the power used by machine tools by 15% to 30%. Cutting fluid chemistry can be optimized by careful study

Creare Inc.
P.O. Box 71
Hanover, NH 03755
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(603) 643-3800
Jay C. Rozzi, Ph.D.
DLA 09-001      Awarded: 1/28/2010
Title:A Cryogenic Grinding System for the High Productivity Grinding of Advanced Materials
Abstract:High performance metals, ceramics, and hard coatings are used in military applications to enhance the performance of key systems needed by the warfighter. One of the most prevalent operations to remove material, achieve the desired surface finish, or enhance part quality is bulk and finish grinding. For typical cutting speeds, conventional synthetic or oil-based coolants are sufficient to remove the generated heat; however, as the processing speed is increased to improve productivity, conventional coolants cease to be effective due to film boiling of the liquid coolant and the formation of an air boundary layer around the grinding wheel, preventing coolant penetration into the machining zone. As a result, the expensive workpiece may need to be scrapped or the process speed decreased, increasing overall cycle time and cost. Our approach to address this issue is to develop the novel Cryogenic Grinding System (CGS) that uses our proven approach to remove heat from the grinding zone, increase processing speed, and improve part quality. During Phase I, we will develop a proof-of-concept system, demonstrate its benefits, and plan the scale-up and insertion of the technology. During Phase II, we will develop a full-scale prototype for integration, testing, and commercialization.

Fairmount Technologies LLC
1845 Fairmount ST Devlin Hall # 147
Wichita, KS 67260
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(316) 393-6137
Vis Madhavan
DLA 09-001      Awarded: 1/28/2010
Title:STRETCH ROLL FORMING
Abstract:Manufacture and maintenance of aircraft, ships, light rail cars, etc., requires many structural components formed out of extrusions. Processes such as stretch forming are typically used to produce these parts, in which unique dies are required for each forming operation. This increases the cost and lead time of production. The need for dies prevents the production of spares at the maintenance site and the need to store, maintain, locate, setup, and dismantle these dies contributes significantly to the cost of producing spare parts. A revolutionary, patent-pending, discrete parts stretch forming technology uses “universal dies” to eliminate specialized tooling. With computer numerical controls, one machine can be programmed to manufacture a range of extrusions, such as former rings and stringers, that are traditionally stretch formed starting with metal extrusions. Computer simulations of one such machine have demonstrated the feasibility of this process to produce formed parts with stress residuals and geometric accuracy comparable to that achieved by stretch forming. Additionally, the simulations have shown that the parts produced by this process would be of superior quality and durability.

Luna Innovations Incorporated
1 Riverside Circle Suite 400
Roanoke, VA 24016
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(540) 769-8400
Daniel Metrey
DLA 09-001      Awarded: 2/11/2010
Title:Rapid, Non-Thermally Cured Composite Fabrication
Abstract:Composite materials, with their high strength to weight ratios, manipulative properties, and corrosion resistance are now widely utilized throughout the military. High performance composites are required for air, sea, and land platforms. One of the drawbacks of these composite systems is the excessive costs and time required for part manufacturing. Prolonged elevated temperature curing is typically required for desirable elevated temperature performance, necessitating the need for expensive autoclaves or ovens. Even when room temperature cured systems are sufficient, excessive time is required before the parts solidify or gel and can be removed from molds and tooling. In addition to the high cost and long fabrication times associated with fielded parts, often these considerations are enough to limit or prevent the use of advanced composite materials on other applications, preventing optimal performance or improved capabilities. On this program, Luna will leverage rapid, non-thermally curing material technologies to enhance advanced material composite systems to reduce cost and increase the rate of fabrication. Specifically, Luna will develop resin components that when incorporated into the baseline resin systems will enable rapid, non-thermally cured composite fabrication, while maintaining the basic structure and properties of the systems.

Materials Innovation Technologies, LLC
320 Rutledge Road
Fletcher, NC 28732
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(828) 651-9646
Mark Janney
DLA 09-001      Awarded: 12/9/2009
Title:Advanced Technologies for Discrete-Parts Manufacturing
Abstract:Since 2005, MIT-LLC has successfully developed the three dimensional engineered preform (3-DEP) process for making near-net-shape, complex geometry, chopped fiber preforms that are subsequently infused with epoxy or other thermosetting resin. We have been approached frequently to determine if we could develop a high performance thermoplastic composite process. The drivers for these inquiries are twofold: (1) thermoplastic-matrix composites are capturing a larger share of the composite materials market because they compete successfully with those of thermoset composites; and (2) manufacturers and end users always look for ways to reduce processing costs and cycle times through near-net-shape fabrication. We will develop chopped-fiber high performance thermoplastic composites based on a preform of co-deposited thermoplastic and structural fibers, which will be compression molded to final shape. We have co- deposited mixed fibers in 3-DEP numerous times including carbon-glass-aramid, carbon- Spectra, and glass-jute. Making a preform containing a structural fiber and a thermoplastic fiber matrix should be straightforward. The questions to be answered include: how best to consolidate the preform into a composite; what are the physical properties of the composite; what advantages (disadvantages) are there to making thermoplastic-matrix composites by the 3-DEP route relative to other thermoplastic composite routes.

Softwear Automation, Inc.
555 Tanacrest Dr.
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone:
PI:
Topic#:
(404) 375-0181
Steve Dickerson
DLA 09-001      Awarded: 1/28/2010
Title:Advanced Technologies for Discrete-Parts Manufacturing
Abstract:A completely automatic, cost-effective, production of garments and other sewn items can be achieved. A novel approach that depends heavily on computing, high performance servo systems, and machine vision has been demonstrated. This proposal will lead to a the most critical element of such automation, a completely automatic sewing machine that will sew arbitrary but controlled paths in the two pieces of fabric being sewn together. Relatively modest extensions would lead to a work-cell consisting of several of these units, nearly contiguous, to make a simple garment such as a pair of jeans or a shirt completely automatically including the cutting of fabric. It is the flexibility of fabric that makes traditional sewing so difficult to automate. In the past, researchers have attempted to automate sewing based upon replicating human functions and building machines that sew based on Euclidean units of measure. A human cannot count threads as they sew, but today a robotic machine can be based on the very advanced state of sensors, particularly machine vision, and computation, to use a non-Euclidean measure, namely thread count. It is this innovative concept that will be exploited to automate the traditional sewing process.