The Advanced Materials Group at Luna has two dedicated laboratory spaces for composite fabrication and testing. Our fabrication capability includes tables for wet layup and/or prepreg materials, hot pressing, vacuum debulk processing and filament winding. Polymer and composite materials are evaluated using our mechanical test lab facilities for properties including tensile strength, modulus, compression strength, glass transition temperatures and more.
Process and Fabrication
Fiber reinforced composites provide a lightweight source of strength and stiffness to vehicle platforms and Luna’s team has investigated novel concepts for improving the repair and maintenance of these materials. Our engineering team has developed a facile process for large scale patch repair of aerospace composites that dramatically reduces the tooling and man-hours required for completion while maintaining a low matrix porosity. Luna’s materials chemists are also making strides in the evolution of catalysts for resins and paste adhesives to provide superior working times and on-demand curing capability for future composite systems. Applications include on-site repair of aerospace platforms and space launch systems especially where out-of-autoclave processes are preferred.
Luna’s engineering team has developed specific formulations of fiber reinforcement, functional resins and nanoscale additives to provide enhanced, multifaceted properties to traditional fiber reinforced composites. We have provided solutions to improve interlaminar shear strength, fracture toughness, increased strain-to-failure and environmental resistance. Luna has also developed composites with insulation and shielding properties against thermal and electromagnetic radiation.
Space and defense applications require unique thermal properties combined with exceptional mechanical properties. Luna’s advanced materials team has developed a number of technologies that support ablative composites for rocket nozzles and thermal protection systems for space/re-entry vehicles. In addition our functional composites can be tuned to have superior performance under fire/cookoff events for insensitive munition applications.