Carbon Foam-Based Protection Systems

Grants and Contracts Details


This research project is intended to address national needs for improved materials for use in the protection of critical infrastructure. Threats to infrastructure come in many forms and are essentially unpredictable, so we are working to prepare materials that offer a degree of protection against an array of threats. Carbon foams are lightweight and quite resistant to high temperatures. We will exploit these characteristics in the development of materials to protect structures from fires. These foams also resist deformation up to a point, before crumbling in a controlled manner. This crushing process absorbs energy and we are developing carbon foam panel systems that will help absorb some of the energy of blast waves. The low weight means that older. un-reinforced buildings can be given a degree of blast protection, and low weight is particularly important for use in vehicles. The carbon foams will be partnered with a filled polyurethane foam. The polyurethane foam offers an additional cushion between the relatively hard carbon foam and the underlying structure that is being protected. Polyurethane itself is flammable, so to reduce the fire hazard we are filling the polyurethane with coal combustion solids to make it less flammable.
Effective start/end date3/9/099/8/11


  • National Institute for Hometown Security: $836,964.00


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