National Center for Advanced Materials Performance (NCAMP)
Mission: To provide the nation with a center for the validation and quality assurance of composites and advanced materials to be applied in the commercial and military aviation industry through (a) data-sharing among multiple users, (b) statistical continuity from one length-scale to another, and (c) reduced testing via increased capability and use of numerical/analytical simulation tools.
In recent years, NASA, the industry and the FAA have worked together to develop a cost-effective method of qualifying composite materials by sharing central material qualification databases, such as Military Handbook 17 (now Composite Materials Handbook 17), and the databases formed through NASA’s Advanced General Aviation Transport Experiments (AGATE) program, in which WSU/NIAR was one of the lead institutions. Through these shared databases, a manufacturer can select an approved composite material system to fabricate parts and perform a smaller subset of testing to a specific application. For materials to be accepted into these shared databases, it is required that the raw materials be manufactured in accordance with material specifications, which impose control of the key physical, chemical, and mechanical properties.
The establishment of NCAMP will take the next step in that development by providing the nation with a localized center for composite and advanced material validation and quality assurance. Anticipated benefits include reductions in nonrecurring and recurring program qualification costs and introduction of multiple sources of new advanced material forms. The goal of NCAMP research is to integrate the technology into actual aircraft and industry practice, therefore, the objectives should be evaluated to determine if the program involves focused research and development, a certification issue, new technology consideration or is related to industry service problems or future directions of the industry. Once these programs are funded and results obtained, the research group within NCAMP will work within the industry and other governmental agencies to generate internal policies, which will eventually spin out into policy and guidance procedures when mature.
NCAMP’s technical approach consists of five tasks that will be coordinated to provide the aviation industry with the most up-to-date solutions for the application of advanced materials into product integration and to eliminate redundancies in the current process. This will make the composite materials as attractive to industry as current metallic materials.
NCAMP is complemented by existing NIAR laboratories and a variety of partners, including three FAA Centers of Excellence: the Center of Excellence for Composites and Advanced Materials (CECAM), and the Center of Excellence for General Aviation (CGAR).
For more information about NCAMP, subscribe to the NCAMP Bulletin.