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Low Cost, Non-Eroding Boost Nozzle Throats

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2004 / SBIR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Plasma Processes, LLC
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811-1558
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 2
Fiscal Year: 2004
Title: Low Cost, Non-Eroding Boost Nozzle Throats
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: W9113M-04-C-0111
Award Amount: $750,000.00


Low cost, boost phase nozzles are needed for missile defense systems. Boost phase intercept missiles require high thrust motors that operate at very high pressures and temperatures. The nozzles must survive high thermal strains with minimal erosion to maintain performance. Current R&D focuses on non-eroding and DACS materials. However, low cost fabrication technologies and innovative nozzle designs are needed. In Phase I, Plasma Processes developed a unique 2 piece nozzle design and then demonstrated its fabrication. The results show that a 2-piece throat design has 50% lower thermal strains and 15% lower temperatures than a baseline 1-piece throat. In Phase II, PPI will further optimize and fabricate advanced tungsten alloy and tantalum carbide nozzles for SM-3 Third Stage Rocket Motors and Kinetic Energy Interceptors. Extensive modeling and design analyses will be used to fabricate subscale throats for hot fire test screening. PPI will scale up and optimize the processing using rapid manufacturing techniques to reduce cost. A full scale boost nozzle will be designed and fabricated for hot fire testing at ATK in a TSRM nozzle evaluation motor. The SBIR will result in the qualification of robust, low cost, boost nozzles with improved performance and reliability for Missile Defense.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Hickman
Materials Engineer

Business Contact:

Timothy N. McKechnie
Small Business Information at Submission:

4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811

EIN/Tax ID: 631100320
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No