Idea Center - Case Studies
Below are some older real life case studies from our Idea Center which we are at liberty to discuss. As always, we maintain the strictest confidence and always respect intelectual property agreements.
Truck Drive Shaft (Major Automotive Customer)
Created a composite driveshaft for a rear-wheel drive truck with strength characteristics equal to aluminum but at least 10% lighter. Invented a new production process to be competitive in price and to meet quantity demand.
Solution: A braided tube incorporating high proportions of unidirectional and circumferentially wound fiber. Used a hybrid carbon/glass fibers in a thermoset resin to meet demanding project goals and stay cost effective. Concurrently developed a composite braid analytical tool which previously did not exist for quality assurance of this new process.
Stealth Bomber Fuel Lines (Aircraft Component Customer)
Created a slightly conductive fiberglass tube that would act as a heat sink for the avionics but would also dissipate static which the aircraft produced in-flight from air friction.
Solution: A filament wound fiberglass tube incorporating a uniquely designed epoxy resin that was conductive within a specified megohm range. Polygon manufactured the first ship sets then licensed the customer to build the remainder at their facilities.
Saphenous Vein Harvesting Tool (Medical Customer)
Used to remove a vein from the patient's leg for use in heart bypass surgery via small incision laparoscopic surgery, also known as keyhole surgery. Created a solid one piece cannula that would have four unique and separate ports for a light source, graspers/scissors, scope and the harvested vein removal path. Replaced a five piece semi-metallic design which had to be sheathed to provide insulation.
Solution: A vinyl ester fiberglass micro-pultrusion that incorporated four floating mandrels. Composite materials are always electrically insulating, removing the need use plastic heat-shrink wrap to protect patient from electrical currents used to cauterize incisions.
Down Hole Heavy Crude Reclamation Project (Energy Customer)
Create a composite tube assembly that would fit within an existing 2” steel tube allowing a sectioned bladder assembly to be pressurized for squeezing thick crude up each section of pipe, much like like a tube of toothpaste.
Solution: A continuously pultruded tube that was also in-situ circumferentially wound with fins. The fins provided a gap for compressed gas between the inside diameter of the steel pipe and the outside diameter of the composite tube. Project also required a round to oval connection joint that was braided and molded with a liquid metal mandrel forming the unique ID/OD transition.
Other past development projects have included filament wound hybrid metallic/fiber pressure vessels, pultruded profiles with embedded circuits, braided baseball bats, external fixation devices for the medical industry, braided carbon/boron golf shafts, laparoscopic surgical devices (including interventional robotic systems), automotive wiper arms which do not require springs, internal combustion engine composite reed valves, composite fluid power cylinders, composite brain probes—and the list goes on.
Incorporating Metal Elements
One area of significant intellectual property development has been in the advancement of incorporating metallic constituents within the composite laminate structure for sensing, position feedback, pressure vessels and even circuit logic. The non-conductive nature of composite materials allows the unique ability to embed sensors and improve product functions.