Lighter materials, such as carbon fiber composites, are the wave of the future in aerospace, automotive, and medical device manufacturing. However, problems with joining and bonding composites have presented obstacles to their use.
To solve this problem, the Air Force Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program provided funding to BTG Labs of St. Bernard, OH, to develop technology to evaluate the surface of a composite material to determine if it has been prepared properly so that adhesives will stick and the bond between the surfaces will last. The technology advance resulted in a handheld tool that can rapidly analyze a surface using a drop of water and a camera. With the information the Surface Analyst provides, manufacturers will be able to use new materials and design concepts to develop the next generation of composite products.
BTG Labs’ Surface Analyst is just one of many successful innovations enabled by the US Air Force’s SBIR and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. For more information, visit afsbirsttr.com.
88ABW-2016-3217 CLEARED 08 Jul 2016