Fail Safe Composite Aircraft Arrestment
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-136
Topic Title: Fail Safe Composite Aircraft Arrestment
Proposal No.: N082-136-0889
Firm: KaZaK Composites Incorporated
10F GIll Street
Woburn, Massachusetts 01801-1721
Contact: Andrew Paddock
Phone: (781) 932-5667
Web Site:
Abstract: Navy pilots have landed for years by capturing a heavy steel cable designed to stop them safely on carrier decks. Multiple cable sets strung across the flight deck are responsible for transferring enormous aircraft deceleration loads to below-deck hydraulic arresting engines. Current steel cables are very heavy, and must be changed after a relatively low number of landings. As the highly lubricated cables are continuously tested with 100,000 pounds tensile loading, outer steel wires fail visually, indicating need for replacing the entire cable. Realizing the simplicity and ease of this readily observable failure, KaZaK will develop a new composite/metal hybrid that features both the current visual damage indication and a failsafe construction. This new KaZaKable will have half the weight of the present design, with many times greater operational lifespan. KaZaK proposes to develop and demonstrate an automated pultrusion/braiding technology to manufacture the new cables at very low cost. Scale model cables will be built and tested in Phase I. The fail safe cable system development will be completed in Phase II with a variation of a current KaZaK cable fitting design. Extensive commercialization experience will catalyze KaZaK's success for the next generation cable insertion into the fleet.
Benefits: Much like the wheel, rope and cable products have millions of applications and a long history in industry. Design mechanics are well understood, although not simple, and recent improvements in the cable world have been realized through material advancements and manufacturing processes. The sizeable benefits of the KaZaKable are rooted to those factors but are advanced by innovative design. The industries that will benefit most from this advancement are those requiring high break strength and fatigue resistance in a cable system, where the avoidance of catastrophic failure is essential to save lives. Upon successful development of this SBIR technology, KaZaK and its partner, a specialist in marine cable systems, will provide a product that represents a vast improvement in safety and efficiency of the cable industry worldwide.