Advantages of an SBIR

East Hartford, CT—Many industrial laser system companies may be unaware of the advantages offered by the U.S. government’s Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) grants. The organizers of the Symposium on Advanced Laser Applications (SALA) initiated sessions on SBIRs several years ago, and the response was such that they have continued the practice this year at the April 14–15 event.

Invited speaker Dr. Ronald Schaeffer, CEO of PhotoMachining Inc., the New Hampshire laser job shop and custom laser systems manufacturer, will share his recent success in being awarded a Phase I SBIR grant from the U.S. Airforce.

Dr. Schaeffer’s luncheon presentation will describe the process of applying for an SBIR grant and follow the process to the awarding of one to his company to study “Innovative Methods for Automated Controlled Removal of Thermal Barrier Coatings (TBCs) and Bondcoats from Turbine Airfoils for Rework and Repair." The award is a nine-month effort to develop a laser based removal process that aggressively removes TBCs from aircraft engine turbine airfoils at high speeds. Currently TBCs are removed for rework or repair using a combination of autoclave, caustic and acidic solutions, and grit blast. This process is labor intensive, time consuming, waste producing, and is neither consistent nor well controlled.

If successful, a Phase II contract will be pursued to commercialize the technology. This technique has applications in high-speed hole drilling, coating removal, and surface modification and the potential market for this technology, when developed, is huge.

Attendees will be able to meet with Dr. Schaeffer and panelists from the DOD business opportunities session because SALA’s unique all-day networking format provides abundant time to interface with all the speakers and exhibitors over the course of the two-day event. Sign up now to attend this informative event, www.ccat.us/sala.

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