Center of Excellence for Inflatable Composite Structures


FLC Region

Security Lab



AMSRD-NSC-AD-B 15 Kansas St.




The Center of Excellence for Inflatable Composite Structures (CE-ICS) manages a textile technology process that are three dimensional, lightweight, load bearing members created when high strength fibers are formed into tubular structures that take predetermined shapes when filled with high pressure air or fluids. These replace metal structures and yield products that weigh 66% less then conventional items, take up less then 25% the volume when stored or shipped and cut deployment time by 60%. The Flexible Composite Structures are extremely lightweight and require minimal storage space during transit. The technology was transferred from the Army to Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and NASA. It was developed through both Government and Industry interaction.

Applications for this technology are extremely broad. These include arches to support tents, inflatable wheels and antennas for space applications, stiffening edges for large cargo parachutes, fins for aircraft ejection seats, huge underwater beams to reduce wave heights during inter-vessel cargo transfer and ballistic protective systems for munitions stored in field ammo dumps.

Spin-offs from the manufacturing technology include low-cost rigid composite nose cones for missiles and the next generation chemical and biological agent resistant laminated fabric.

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