Next Generation Buoyancy Material
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-058
Topic Title: Next Generation Buoyancy Material
Proposal No.: N181-058-0763
Firm: Haddad Consulting L.L.C.
9 Gemma Dr.
Peabody, Massachusetts 1960
Contact: Majdi Haddad
Phone: (617) 921-3955
Abstract: A hybrid buoyancy foam is proposed, consisting of new technology lightweight macrospheres in a matrix of closed-cell blown foam. The hybrid composite, with a target density of 0.05 g/cm3, will combine the compressive strength and stiffness of macrospheres with the resilience of a blown foam to meet the specified threshold performance properties. The macrospheres will be manufactured using thin film UV-curable core-shell rubber modified vinyl ester technology for damage tolerance, with milled carbon fiber reinforcement. These will be closely packed in highly ordered binary arrays using additive layering techniques for maximum volume packing factor in virtually net shapes. The macrospheres will be encapsulated with carbon reinforced rigid poly-DCPD, polyurethane or BPA/BPF epoxy blown foam as a binder, engineered for high modulus and resilience in the ocean temperature range. Phase I will develop macrosphere manufacturing, grading and assembly processes and blown foam formulation, resulting in a laboratory-scale composite for property testing. Phase I Option will work on refining properties and scaling up processes for full-scale production in a Phase II. Potential technology offshoots include a high-performance syntactic foam with unprecedented strength and moduli for given density, as well as a pure blown foam of high stiffness and resilience for shallow water.
Benefits: The foam could be commercialized for high-performance nonmilitary applications such as cable buoyancy for windmills, lightweight core material for fabricating windmill blades, as well as shallow water pipeline buoyancy