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Air Force funds development of titanium-replacement materials for engines and aircraft

News International-French

3 Sep 2015

Researchers from the Air Force Research Laboratory and PROOF Research Advanced Composites Division, in Moraine, Ohio, are developing and maturing computationally derived materials, manufacturing and engineering solutions, including advanced, high-temperature polymer matrix composites that are used to replace titanium.

Developing better, faster, stronger, and more sustainable aircraft requires discovering and successfully manufacturing advanced high-temperature materials. These new material solutions must meet environmental, health and safety regulations and be non-toxic alternatives to their predecessors.

Applications for these materials exist on the F135 and F110 engines; B-2, F-117 and F-22 aircraft; missile structures; and sixth-generation engines.

As a replacement for titanium structures, high-temperature PMCs deliver up to a 40-percent weight reduction resulting in annual fuel savings of hundreds of dollars per kilogram of titanium replaced per aircraft.

The Air Force Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) program office is providing an additional $750,000 to the company to assist in the transition these technologies in support of the Air Force’s Technology Program for Integrated Computational Methods for Composite Materials (ICM2).

In addition to the SBIR funding, this program leverages more than $1.6 million from industry partners, including Lockheed Martin, GE Aviation and Triumph Aerostructures. These funds will help ensure the SBIR Phase II effort graduates into a program that successfully transitions its technologies into military and/or private sectors.

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