A Plymouth-based company is now competing for Phase II Small Business Innovation Research funding for its portable runway mat which could be used in militarized zones or other remote sites.
ITAMCO is part of a team developing the material for the U.S. Air Force that can be used to set-up temporary airport runways.
The company says the technology, called phase-transforming cellular materials, or PXCMs, can be scaled to almost any size and 3D printed.
The company won Phase 1 SBIR funding, earning it the right to compete for Phase II funding. In this next round, ITAMCO moves into the prototype and testing stage.
The company says the durable matting can restore itself to its original contour and would allow for planes to land on the temporary runway 30 minutes after it’s laid in place and tested.
ITAMCO is working on the project with Professor Pablo Zavattieri in the Lyles School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University.
ITAMCO says the continuing research will allow it to develop a robust sheet or roll of the matting. The company says a portable airfield mat must be easy to install and store yet withstand multiple take-offs and landings of aircraft.