Jeff Vervlied of Free Form Fibers has over 30 years of experience in high temperature composites, ranging from carbon-carbon to graphite, including ceramic matrix composites (CMC’s) and other extreme environmental and ultra-high temperature (UHT) niches. Midcareer, he had a range of management consulting roles in the areas of advanced materials investing and strategic marketing. He holds a BS and MS in Materials Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and an Executive MBA from the University of Delaware.
Free Form Fibers (FFF) is a materials development and manufacturing company that specializes in the production of high performance, high temperature materials. Laser-induced Chemical Vapor Deposition (LCVD), a container-less, material-agnostic approach, which deposits material directly from a gas phase reaction process, is the novel process they have developed and commercialized, with dozens of US and global patents.
The LCVD approach can be seen as an additive manufacturing technique, growing material in 1 1/2 dimensions (1.5 D). The CVD foundation of the LCVD technology yields high purity fibers and powders of superior quality, with no contaminants present such as free metals or oxygen. A range of high temperature compositions are being produced at FFF, including silicon carbide and silicon nitride, with demonstrated materials in refractory oxides, borides, and other unique formulations, including in situ coating of the fibers. The array of LCVD-based materials that FFF has demonstrated find applications in aerospace and stationary power generation, hypersonics, high powered semiconductors, nuclear fuel rod cladding, alternative nuclear fuels,and joining (welding) of ceramic and composite components.
The Orange County Chapter of SAMPE discussion will provide an overview of FFF’s materials and engineered product manufacturing and development efforts. It will cover LCVD material property evaluations, and fiber-reinforced composite sample test data from traditionally fabricated Ceramic Matrix Composites. The scale-up effort to move from R&D quantities to production-level capacity for fibers and powders will be highlighted. Finally, a brief review of next generation materials that FFF is working on will be presented.