Lightweight Gearbox for Air Cushion Vehicles - MSC P4380
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-072
Topic Title: Lightweight Gearbox for Air Cushion Vehicles - MSC P4380
Proposal No.: N181-072-0870
Firm: Materials Sciences Corporation
135 Rock Road
Horsham, Pennsylvania 19044
Contact: Luke Colone
Phone: (215) 542-8400
Web Site:
Abstract: The primary gearbox components on board the Navyƒ?Ts Air Cushioned Vehicle (ACV) platforms are operationally essential components of the craftƒ?Ts propulsion system. The current cast-aluminum housing and metallic gear components are of substantial weight and require significant maintenance throughout the life of the craft primarily due to operations in a harsh salt-laden environment. Material and design improvements to make the gearboxes lighter, easier to maintain, and higher performance, with minimal impacts to existing support and sub-systems would allow for more operational performance of the vehicle at lower life cycle costs. The innovation and opportunity offered in this proposal to meet the program objective is an approach for simultaneously reducing the weight and maintenance costs through the implementation of Fiber Reinforced Composite (FRC) materials and corresponding design solutions. Performance improvements will be achieved through the integration of FRC materials into optimized gearbox design solutions previously developed for LCAC-100 program. To accomplish this objective, an Integrated Product Team (IPT) of material specialists at Materials Sciences Corporation as well as gearbox designers/manufacturers at Cincinnati Gearing Systems has been assembled to develop lightweight, advanced material solutions and joint designs for Form-Fit-Function replacement gearboxes for the LCAC-100.
Benefits: Future ACV propulsion systems will require advanced materials to meet the emerging mission goals at a manageable life-cycle cost. The technical thrust of this SBIR effort is development of lightweight, durable, components for the LCAC-100 primary gearbox that can be fabricated using relatively low-cost composite manufacturing techniques. Ultimately, MSC would seek to supply CGS with composite components for integration into the LCAC-100 Lightweight Gearbox system.