Aerospace AMAM for SpaceCompositesIndustrial Additive ManufacturingStartup and Incubators

Continuous Composites selected by NASA’s SBIR Program

To additively manufacture low CTE open isogrid composite structures for space applications

Stay up to date with everything that is happening in the wonderful world of AM via our LinkedIn community.

Continuous Composites, an advanced composite 3D printing technology company, has been selected by NASA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program to additively manufacture low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) open isogrid composite structures for space applications, using its patented Continuous Fiber 3D Printing (CF3D) technology.

Continuous Composites selected by NASA's SBIR Program. To additively manufacture low CTE open isogrid composite structures for space.
Isogrids on the Boeing CST-100 Starliner pressure vessel

In space, the temperature of objects orbiting Earth change drastically when on the dark side of the earth compared to the light side. Therefore, precision objects such as satellites and optical benches require low to zero CTE to prevent warping, or distortion, from the expansion and contraction due to the temperature changes.

Continuous Composites selected by NASA's SBIR Program. To additively manufacture low CTE open isogrid composite structures for space.
Open isogrid structure

Continuous Composites says this NASA award will demonstrate CF3D’s advanced robotic steering of individual, continuous carbon fiber tows to print and test a flat 1.6 x 3.3 feet open isogrid rib structure – with a low CTE. CF3D-printed isogrid structures can reportedly be deposited onto a support surface of many different shapes (including flat, cylindrical, spherical, conical, etc). The resulting part can be optimized for the desired strength and stiffness depending on launch and space loads.

Continuous Composites was selected for its CF3D’s use of continuous fiber reinforcement, snap curing photopolymers, and advanced robotics that enables the manufacturing of composite structures which are impractical to produce with traditional fabrication methods – more efficiently, and at reduced costs. One such structure is this open isogrid rib structure, the company notes, which has applications in many industries, including space and aerospace.

“Given my background in composite design for space applications, I’m excited to demonstrate our unique fiber steering capabilities for this NASA project. This printed isogrid will have little to zero CTE which is the goal for these types of space structures,” said John Brendel, application engineer and technical POC on this NASA SBIR. “This contract builds upon the work we have been doing in the DOD [Department of Defense] and commercial aerospace sector, and we’re excited to introduce our capabilities to the space industry.”

Research
Composites AM 2024

746 composites AM companies individually surveyed and studied. Core composites AM market generated over $785 million in 2023. Market expected to grow to $7.8 billion by 2033 at 25.8% CAGR. This new...

Edward Wakefield

Edward is a freelance writer and additive manufacturing enthusiast looking to make AM more accessible and understandable.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button
Close Popup
Privacy Settings saved!
Privacy Settings

When you visit any web site, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. Control your personal Cookie Services here.

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems.

Technical Cookies
In order to use this website we use the following technically required cookies
  • PHPSESSID
  • wordpress_test_cookie
  • wordpress_logged_in_
  • wordpress_sec

Decline all Services
Save
Accept all Services

Newsletter

Join our 12,000+ Professional community and get weekly AM industry insights straight to your inbox. Our editor-curated newsletter equips executives, engineers, and end-users with crucial updates, helping you stay ahead.