Status Report

NASA ARC Soliciation: Woven Materials for Space Applications

By SpaceRef Editor
December 4, 2010
Filed under , ,

Synopsis – Dec 01, 2010

Appendix A TRL Definitions – Posted on Dec 01, 2010 New!

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: RFI-WMSA-L
Posted Date: Dec 01, 2010
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Dec 01, 2010
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Jan 07, 2011
Current Response Date: Jan 07, 2011
Classification Code: A — Research and Development
NAICS Code: 313210 – Broadwoven Fabric Mills

Contracting Office Address

NASA/Ames Research Center, JA:M/S 241-1, Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration invites you to submit a response to this inquiry, to assist in planning for the development of woven materials for future NASA exploration missions.

ARC is actively pursuing concepts and opportunities for technology development. Specifically this includes manufacturing techniques that could produce thermo-structural components (implemented in the dry or infused state) for applications at temperatures reaching 2500-3000F. We are interested in gaining a better understanding of industrial capabilities to assist us in the development, maturation and incorporation of woven textile concepts.

Woven materials and capabilities sought include, but are not limited to: 1) Ability to weave 3-D textiles (provide minimum and maximum thickness capability in terms of number of layers and dimensional units); 2) Types of 3D tow/yarn architectures including off axis capability; 3) Ability to weave multiple high temperature fiber types (carbon, phenolic, polyimide, oxide/ceramic fibers including silica and SiC) list specific types of each family; 4) Ability to weave multiple fiber sizes into a single textile; 5) Ability to adjust warp tow/yarn tension/straightness; 6) Ability to vary the fiber density in thickness, warp, and weft directions; 7) Ability to vary textile thickness in warp and weft directions; 8) Ability to incorporate pockets, cells, and other internal features in both warp and weft directions (sizes, spacing, etc.); 9) Ability to incorporate discrete loops, tangs, ears, ribs, or similar protruding features in both warp and weft directions (sizes, spacing, etc.); 10) Ability to weave wide textiles in curved forms (~10m width at ~10m radius, and if applicable provide manufacturability of one with respect to the other, ie: can produce 10m width with no curvature, 5m width at 10m radius, etc.); 11) Ability to prevent woven textile ends from unraveling; 12) Ability to join two woven textile ends via stitching; 13) Ability to process textiles weighing several thousand pounds.

ARC is interested in understanding the state-of-the-art of these capabilities on an individual basis as well as understanding how the capabilities change when combined (ie: capability of processing a two thousand pound textile with internal pockets woven with carbon and phenolic fibers). Are some capabilities mutually exclusive of others?

PLEASE NOTE: This is a request for information only and does not constitute a commitment, implied or otherwise, that NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) will take procurement action in this matter. Further, neither ARC nor the Government will be responsible for any cost incurred in furnishing this information. ARC is issuing this Request for Information (RFI) to gain a better understanding of industry capabilities and to assess the current state of the technology. Responses to this RFI are to be submitted no later than 12:00 noon (Pacific Standard Time) on January 7, 2011, in accordance with the instructions below.

Upon review of the written responses to this RFI, NASA may conduct site visits or informational meetings with industry.

This RFI will consider materials at any Technology Readiness Level (TRL), as defined in Appendix A.

Guidelines for RFI Response

The specific objective of this RFI is to request information identifying and describing capabilities and approaches to making woven materials at any TRL.

Responses shall address the following topics:

1. Capability Description Describe the current weaving or braiding capability (with reference to the capabilities sought in the RFI description). Include experience weaving different fibers (carbon, oxide fibers, other ceramic fibers, organic fibers). For each capability referred to in the RFI description, provide an estimated TRL (as defined in Appendix A; if unknown, state “unknown”). If available, provide all material property values (measured or inferred) and testing methods in place to evaluate woven materials.

2. Other information If available, provide any study results or current capabilities that are not mentioned in the RFI description data but may be pertinent to advancing woven concepts in space applications.

In addition to the information requested above, describe the extent to which existing proven commercial weaving technology can be leveraged to minimize technical and schedule risk to a space program.

Interested parties may submit questions by email to the identified POC. Pertinent information from questions and answers about this RFI will be shared with all interested parties, without disclosing the identity of the source of the question.

Written responses shall: 1) Not exceed 50 pages; 2) Use an Arial font text with a size not smaller than 11 point; 3) Address all areas listed to the extent possible; 4) Figures, exhibits, and diagrams should be readable and are not included in the page limit; and 5) Provide a Point of Contact to address questions from NASA.

Responses must also include the following information: 1) Company name, address, point of contact, phone number, fax, e-mail, and website (if applicable), number of years in business; affiliate information: parent company, joint venture partners, potential teaming partners, prime contractor (if potential sub) or subcontractors (if potential prime); list of significant, relevant customers covering the past five years (briefly describe relevant work performed, contract numbers, point of contact phone number, fax, email, contract type, dollar value of each procurement). 2) Indicate whether your company is a Large business, Small business, Small Disadvantaged Business, 8(a)set-aside small business, HUBZone small business, Woman-owned small business, Veteran-owned small business, HBCU/MI, Service-Disabled Veteran-owned small business for relevant NAICS codes.

Questions about this RFI shall be submitted by email only to the Contract Specialist,

Responses to this RFI shall also be submitted by email only, by the due date stated above, to the Contract Specialist, Responses to this RFI will not be returned.

This synopsis is for information and planning purposes and is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government, nor will the Government pay for information solicited. Respondents will not be notified of the results of the evaluation.

This preliminary information is being made available for planning purposes only, subject to FAR Provision 52.215-3, entitled “Request for Information or Solicitation for Planning Purposes.” It does not constitute a Request for Proposal, and it is not to be construed as a commitment by the Government to enter into a contract, nor will the Government pay for the information submitted in response to this request. Although all responses received will be carefully reviewed and considered, the initiators of this request make no commitment to include any particular recommendations for inclusion in a later action.

All information received in response to this RFI that is marked Proprietary will be handled and protected accordingly. To the extent necessary, NASA will likely provide Proprietary information to its support service contractors who are under an obligation to keep third-party Proprietary information in confidence. By submitting a response to this RFI, the responder is deemed to have consented to release of Proprietary information to such NASA support service contractors.

No solicitation exists; therefore, please do not request a copy of a solicitation. If a solicitation is released it will be synopsized in FedBizOpps and on the NASA Acquisition Internet Service. It is the responder’s responsibility to monitor these sites for the release of any solicitation or synopsis. Information about major upcoming ARC procurement actions is available at

An ombudsman has been appointed — See NASA Specific Note “B”.

Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Information about major upcoming ARC procurement actions is available at

Point of Contact

Name: Rachel Khattab
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 650-604-5237
Fax: 650-604-3020

Name: Marianne Shelley
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 650-604-4179
Fax: 650-604-3020

SpaceRef staff editor.