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Low Cost, Non-Eroding Boost Nozzle Throats

Award Information

Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2003 / 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 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Low Cost, Non-Eroding Boost Nozzle Throats
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: DASG6003P0302
Award Amount: $70,000.00


Missile defense urgently needs a new generation of boosters with increased reliability and performance. Many missile defense systems currently being tested use older modified missiles that have malfunctioned during testing. As a result, critical testinghas been delayed. Boost phase, intercept missiles require extremely high thrust axial motors to engage hostile targets in their boost phase. These motors operate aggressively at extremely high pressures and temperatures. The booster nozzle must survivehigh thermal stresses with minimal erosion to maintain performance. Current nozzle materials are very expensive, take long fabrication times and erode during firing which decreases system performance. Recent testing has shown tungsten nozzle throatsperforming extremely well in firings above 5100F and 5000psi. However, low cost, fabrication technologies and innovative nozzle designs are needed. Innovative design and fabrication of non-eroding throats with three unique concepts: two piece throats, netshape forming of throats with integral expansion grooves, and net forming of throats on complex shape, one-piece, structural supports are proposed. The goal is to improve performance and reduce the cost of boosters for missile defense systems. Increased booster engine performance and reliability for missile defense programs will be gained. Commercial applications include ballistic, tactical, satellite, and boost rocket engine thrusters, injectors, incinerators, crucibles, furnace components,gun barrel liners, penetrators, hazardous waste destruction systems, arcjets, electrodes, etc.

Principal Investigator:

Robert Hickman
Materials Engineer

Business Contact:

Timothy 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