Master Builders, Inc., is a 350-person company in Cleveland, Ohio, that develops and markets specialty chemicals for the construction industry. Developing new products involves creating many potential samples and running numerous tests to characterize the samples' performance. Company engineers enlisted NASA's help to replace cumbersome physical testing with computer modeling of the samples' behavior. Since the NASA Lewis Research Center's Structures Division develops mathematical models and associated computation tools to analyze the deformation and failure of composite materials, its researchers began a two-phase effort to modify Lewis' Integrated Composite Analyzer (ICAN) software for Master Builders' use. Phase I has been completed, and Master Builders is pleased with the results. The company is now working to begin implementation of Phase II.
Structures Division researchers adapted ICAN to model concrete microstructures and predict mechanical performance under structural loads. (ICAN was originally developed to model the behavior of fiber-reinforced polymer matrix composites.) Lewis delivered the code in a format compatible for desktop personal computers (PC's) and provided data from a validation test case, as well as preliminary user instructions for the company's independent evaluation and use of the software. In addition, Lewis will be able to use the modified software for its own jet engine research.
The modified NASA software has already allowed Master Builders to improve the productivity of its batch testing by 200 percent and to save an estimated $25,000 to $100,000. The completed project will enable this company to create its specialty products more quickly and economically, as well as to increase the number of new products it can develop.
Glenn's Technology Transfer and Partnership Office,
(216) 433-5568, and Dale A. Hopkins, (216) 433-3260,
Author: Commercial Technology Office
Headquarters program office: OASTT
Programs/Projects: Aeronautics Base R&T, Technology Transfer
Special recognition: NASA Team Achievement Award
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Last updated April 16, 1998, by Nancy.L.Obryan@nasa.gov
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