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High-Performance Structural Fibers for Advanced Polymer Matrix Composites
To reduce manufacturing costs across all DoD applications, DoD should initiate a program with university-industry-government participation. Promising manufacturing and design concepts should be assessed, including vacuum-assist resin transfer molding (VARTM) to replace more costly manufacturing processes. Virtual manufacturing and simulation should play an important role in accelerated insertion of materials and processes into DoD systems. Research in automation using simulation, sensing, and control systems should be pursued to advance this process from prototype to a production-ready process.
Improved understanding has been identified as a key target.
The DoD should take a lead in developing a better design methodology that incorporates variability and stochastic aspects of local properties into lifetime models. DoD personnel should use this improved understanding to develop new design allowables and parameters that prevent overdesign of parts and overspecification of fiber properties.
The DoD should aid in developing a better understanding of new promising technologies in such areas as micron-scale fibers with nanoscale structure and new sizings with the ability to maximize structural and ballistic properties.