Cornerstone Research Group is under contract with the Missile Defense Agency to manufacture high-temperature, carbon-carbon composite materials that enable advanced hypersonic technologies. This $7 million contract was made possible by provisions Congressman Mike Turner (OH-10) included in the FY 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and in FY 2020 Defense Appropriations.
Congressman Turner said, “This contract between Cornerstone Research Group and the Missile Defense Agency will reduce costs, increase production, and enhance performance of maturing high-speed platforms required to counter emerging threats from our nation’s near-peer adversaries.” Read the press release here.
For the last decade, CRG has been developing unique subsystem technologies to bring aircraft design and manufacturing back to the Dayton area. Through the hard work of CRG’s newly formed Aerospace Systems Center, they now have multiple aircraft under development. In the past three months, CRG designed and tested two different aircraft platforms, both produced here in Dayton with support from outstanding regional partners.
These aircraft vary in weight from 50 to 1200 pounds and range in size up to a 30-foot wingspan. CRG intends to establish full-fledged aircraft production facilities as the systems currently under development are matured and transitioned.
Building its already substantial intellectual property portfolio, CRG and its affiliates were issued five new patents in 2019. These included:
Patent No. 1,0167,379, Hybrid Fiber Layup and Fiber-Reinforced Polymeric Composites Produced Therefrom. This is a method patent for a making a fiber reinforced polymer composite using different types of fiber reinforcement and cured with a no-oven, no-autoclave process, using the exothermic heat generated by the reactive resin.
Patent No. 1,0292,857, Head-and-Neck Immobilization Devices and Related Methods, about an immobilization device for injured patient transport. It’s part of CRG’s ATLIS platform designed to reduce the risk of further injury during transport, particularly patients with head or spinal injuries.
Patent No. 10,344,139, Electrically Responsive Variable Stiffness Polymer, a material composition and method involving a polymer that can vary its stiffness in response to electric voltage. Potential use includes vibration damping devices that can address different frequency environments.
Patent No. 10,385,905, Bonded Hardware Rapid Cure System, a device and method associated with a rapid cure system for accelerating adhesive bonded hardware installation and repair. This is the main technology for Kineticure’s business in the aerospace industry. The device is specifically designed for use in repairing damage to bonded nutplates in certain aircraft.
Patent No. 10,391,684, Cauls and Methods of Fusing Cauls to Produce Composite Articles, a method for using the “Smart Caul” technology used at CRG’s affiliate Spintech to make composites. It’s part of their smart tooling technologies in composite fabrication and is based on shape memory polymer materials.
In January of 2020, CRG established its new Power and Energy Center (PEC). This new center lets CRG focus on rapidly expanding technologies such as advanced battery cell chemistries, cell fabrication, hybrid electric systems, wearable power technologies, power generation systems, advanced energy storage systems, power management, and distribution and conversion technologies.
The PEC already has multiple systems progressing towards procurement and is conducting research for the DoD, NASA and DHS. The rapid successes taking place in this center have led to the company to begin standing up battery cell production at the new facility that was recently acquired.
The PEC team includes electrical engineers, chemical engineers, software engineers and electrochemists led by PEC Vice President, Brian Henslee. Read more about the PEC here.
Cornerstone Research Group’s Aerospace Systems Center (ASC), officially formed in January 2020, is focused on rapidly advancing state-of-the-art aerospace capabilities. Some of these capabilities include advanced aircraft design, concepts and optimization, electric propulsion technologies, rapid development and fielding and production. The center’s partnership with CRG’s Advanced Manufacturing Center gives them the capability to take advantage of advanced manufacturing techniques for agile and affordable aircraft development and production.
Cornerstone is a leader in quiet electric propulsor technologies and supports multiple aircraft programs. The ASC team has developed, built and successfully tested unmanned aircraft which range in size from 15 pounds with a five-foot wingspan to 1200 pounds with a 30-foot wingspan.
In the next six or seven months the center plans to test a manned aircraft that weighs about 2800 lbs, with a 30-ft wingspan. They have done ground testing of the aircraft.
The ASC team consists of aerospace engineers, advanced flight control engineers, RF physicists, electrical engineers, advanced materials engineers and manufacturing engineers. The team is led by the ASC Vice President, Bryan Pelley.
In July of 2019, CRG established its new High-Temperature Composites Center (HTC). This new center lets CRG focus on applications for its signature high-temp resin, MG resin.
The HTC’s vision is to support carbon/carbon (C/C) manufacturing with materials and process innovation, expand the national industrial base for C/C production, and reduce cost and lead time for C/C parts production.
The HTC team includes materials scientists, chemists, aerospace engineers, mechanical engineers and chemical engineers led by HTC Vice President, Michael Rauscher. Read more about the HTC here.
CRG’s intellectual property portfolio grew as it was issued four new patents in 2018. These included:
Patent No. 9,622,924, Fluid Absorption and Distribution Enhancement System. This is a a fluid absorption pad product for use in medical, pet, or food industry.
Patent No. 9,820,164, Subterranean System Comprising Wireless Communication Network and Syntactic Foam Panels. This patent covers any subterranean system, such as tunnels and subway systems, constructed with CRG’s syntactic foam panel material to facilitate wireless communication within the underground system.
Patent No. 9,908,993, Hybrid Fiber Layup and Fiber-Reinforced Polymeric Composites Produced Therefrom. This patent covers a method for a making a fiber-reinforced polymer composite using different types of fiber reinforcement and cured with a no oven, no autoclave process, using the exothermic heat generated by the reactive resin for curing.
Patent No. 10,119,238, Reinforced Syntactic Structure. This is a utility patent that describes the design and construction of a shell structure using CRG’s syntactic foam material and its uses in structural reinforcement or remediation of aging, corroded, or damaged underlying structures such as beams, columns, pillars in mining sites or industrial buildings.
On February 23rd, 2015, the Dayton Business Journal published an article about the success of CRG’s REACH project. Last fall, Cornerstone Research Group Inc. and its subsidiaries made a 95-foot long crane-like structure for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico. A drum burst inside a storage room at the plant, causing major issues, and the room needed to be “video mapped” before it could be sealed off permanently.
Said the article, “Cornerstone’s crane was a success as the DOE recently finished the video project, which is now being reviewed by its Accident Investigation Board while plant workers dismantle the crane. That success will bolster the company’s national reputation, which should attract more high-profile work and lead to additional jobs.” Typically a project like this crane would have taken about six months to make, but Cornerstone Research did it in seven weeks. Read the full story here. Below is a video of the REACH camera boom in use.
On February 1st, 2015, Composites World published an article about CRG’s REACH project. Commissioned for the US Department of Energy’s (DoE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM, this very long 32-meter camera boom for the DoE’s appropriately named REACH project was designed for and built with carbon fiber composites, and then tested in only seven weeks, enabled by No Oven, No Autoclave (NONA) technology developed by a subsidiary of CRG, NONA Composites. The beam was light enough to be cantilevered from a steel support mounted to the pictured mobile frame.
The completed REACH system was deployed and tested six times by week seven, including tests of the camera transport rover. It was then transported to WIPP, assembled and used for training before deployment in following months. Read the Composites World article here.