Adaptable Standardized Modular Infrastructure for Optimal Space Utilization
Navy SBIR 2014.1 - Topic N141-041
NAVSEA - Mr. Dean Putnam -
Opens: Dec 20, 2013 - Closes: Jan 22, 2014

N141-041 TITLE: Adaptable Standardized Modular Infrastructure for Optimal Space Utilization

TECHNOLOGY AREAS: Materials/Processes

ACQUISITION PROGRAM: PMS400D, DDG51 Class Program Office

OBJECTIVE: To develop an affordable innovative standardized structure that is adaptable multiple configurations, sizes, and shapes.

DESCRIPTION: Navy ships are built to stringent size constraints. Ensuring essential mission systems are accommodated is the primary objective in the design of a Navy ship. Remaining areas and space for crew accommodations have to be optimized. Efficient use of allotted space and compartments on Navy ships is essential. Often areas that are not specifically attributed to a mission system are utilized by custom outfitting. Custom outfitting areas for many crew accommodations is very costly.

One example of a shipboard structure that requires time consuming custom installations are shower stalls. The Navy currently has to custom build each shower stall to fit each uniquely shaped space. This method of custom installation is very costly and time consuming. This construction method needs to be improved and standardized, to reduce the time it takes to build each stall. Each component, of the stall, must be cut, on the ship, in an environment that can result in poor craftsmanship, wasted material, and increased production time. After the stall has been built, the Navy incurs excessive maintenance costs to maintain the seals at the joints of the components that comprise the shower. The current design often leaks and corrodes making the showers expensive and time consuming for sailors to maintain.

The Navy is seeking innovative manufacturing processes and materials to produce a shower stall that is affordable, modular, corrosion resistant, and can be built with the minimal number of standardized components that will reduce the production time and overall life-cycle maintenance associated with the system. Navy market research has been unable to find an acceptable solution to for these structures existing. Developing standardized structures that provide watertight integrity, are corrosion resistant, and prove to be adaptable to multiple configurations, sizes, and shapes could provide future opportunities to introduce modularity to other shipboard applications such as; storage compartments, boatswain lockers, or damage control lockers.

A successful approach to developing the shower stall will leverage innovations in material selection, sealing innovation, and advances in modular concept design. An ideal solution would maintain watertight integrity, at all joints, without the need for caulking, and use only components that easily fit through a standard Navy Hatch (26"x 66") to allow for quick on-site, installation. To ensure modularity the design should minimize the number of standardized, lightweight components (ref 1). Also, all approved materials shall meet Navy Shipboard requirements for fire, smoke, and toxicity(ref 2).

Effective development of an affordable innovative standardized structure that is adaptable multiple configurations, sizes, and shapes like a shower stall compartment, would be the first step in analyzing all non-mission essential areas for standardized optimal space utilization.

PHASE I: To develop an affordable innovative standardized structure that is adaptable multiple configurations, sizes, and shapes that meets the requirements described in the topic description. The company will demonstrate the feasibility of the concept in meeting Navy needs for development into a useful product. Feasibility will be established by material testing and analytical modeling as well as design/cost analysis for anticipated maintenance requirement. The small business will provide a Phase II development plan that addresses technical risk reduction and provides performance goals and key technical milestones.

PHASE II: Based on the results of Phase I and the Phase II development plan, the small business will develop a prototype for evaluation. The prototype will be evaluated to determine its capability in meeting the performance goals defined in Phase II development plan and the Navy requirements for the affordable, standardized, modular shower stall. System performance will be demonstrated through prototype evaluation in a laboratory setting and supported with modeling or analytical methods over the required range of parameters including but not limited to numerous deployment cycles. Evaluation results will be used to refine the prototype into an initial design that will meet Navy requirements with accompanying cost benefit analysis. The company will prepare a Phase III development plan to transition the technology to Navy use.

PHASE III: The Company shall support the Navy in transitioning the technology for Navy use. The company will develop an affordable, standardized, modular shower stall prototype according to the Phase III development plan for evaluation to determine its effectiveness in an operationally relevant environment. The company will support the Navy for test and validation to certify and qualify the system for Navy use.

PRIVATE SECTOR COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL/DUAL-USE APPLICATIONS: The potential for commercial applications include any use that requires an optimally sized shower stall. This system will reduce the cost and scope of any installation effort. The use of standardized modular parts will reduce the complexity associated with constructed system, and reduce the cost of the logistical effort to source parts. The system shall be more corrosion resistant, and easier to maintain.

1. Cook, Rodney Longhurst. "The impact of modular ship design of the life cycle of a naval vessel",

2. BEITEL, Jesse. "Overview of Smoke Toxicity Testing and Regulations." Naval Research Laboratory, <>


KEYWORDS: Modular Design, Lightweight Materials, Resign, Composite Manufacturing, Corrosion Resistant Materials, Adaptable design, Sanitary Materials, Marine shower design

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