- Program Areas
- Installation Energy and Water
- Environmental Restoration
- Munitions Response
- Resource Conservation and Resiliency
- Weapons Systems and Platforms
Environmentally Friendly PMR-15 Replacement with Superior Performance
Dr. Jason Lincoln | Performance Polymer Solutions, Inc.
4,4'-methylenedianiline (MDA) is a constituent of polyimide matrix composites (e.g., PMR-15) currently used in legacy aircraft and engine structures. In addition to the negative human health and environmental impact of MDA-containing polyimides, recent government legislation to phase out carcinogenic materials in production environments, employer liability and workplace safety concerns, hazardous waste handling and disposal requirements, high manufacturing costs, worker health monitoring, and a sole source supply chain for PMR-15 lead to a potentially catastrophic sustainability risk to the Department of Defense (DoD). There is a critical, immediate need for qualified, aerospace grade polyimide matrix composites that can replace PMR-15 and other MDA-containing polyimides. The objective of this project is to demonstrate and mature, to high Technology Readiness Level (TRL) and high Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL), an environmentally friendly, polyimide matrix composite that is a suitable, cost-competitive replacement to PMR-15.
This project will develop and mature a patented, low-toxicity P2SI 635LM polyimide prepreg system for use in DoD and commercial applications. The P2SI 635LM materials system meets or exceeds PMR-15 in all aspects of processability, handling characteristics, cost, supply chain, performance, and service environment durability. Through this project, the team will work closely with aerospace manufacturers to develop transition pathways to legacy and new systems. Process models and an optimized cure cycle will be developed for the 635LM system. A representative demonstration article of aerospace complexity will be fabricated. Successful completion of the project will provide a state-of-the-art, low toxicity, PMR-15 replacement material at a maturity level suitable for database development stages by future users.
Removal of MDA from the workplace will reduce human exposure, hazardous waste disposal and handling costs, and manufacturing costs associated with this toxic material. Providing a new alternative to MDA-containing polyimides reduces supply chain risk, reduces costs by increasing competition, provides additional material sources, increases efficiency, and improves readiness. Since the material system is dual use, sustainment risks will be minimized and affordability maintained through integration into the various commercial sectors that use polyimides.