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Low Erosion, Lightweight Composites for Reaction Jet Control Systems

Award Information

Department of Defense
Air Force
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2007 / 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: 2007
Title: Low Erosion, Lightweight Composites for Reaction Jet Control Systems
Agency / Branch: DOD / USAF
Contract: FA8651-07-M-0177
Award Amount: $100,000.00


Advanced, high-temperature Reaction Jet Control (RJC) systems provide agility, maneuverability and end-game lethality to missiles and precision guided munitions. The biggest technical challenge of the RJC program is developing low-cost, lightweight valves to withstand the extreme temperature environment of rocket motor exhaust. Rhenium metal has been demonstrated as the toughest, high-temperature, non-eroding metal in AP solid propellant combustion gas. The use of solid rhenium is limited due to cost and weight restrictions. Rhenium alternatives have limited high temperature capability and must be avoided at temperatures above 2600K to prevent unacceptable erosion Using functional rhenium coatings instead of expensive, free-standing, thick-wall components is an innovative way to reduce weight and cost while keeping the proven performance of rhenium. This proposal will evaluate using rhenium as a coating on high-temperature graphite to form a composite structure. Graphite has excellent high temperature properties and provides low-cost and low-weight valve components that can be quickly produced. The rhenium coating will provide erosion resistance while toughening the overall structure for shock and impact stresses. Lightweight RJC valve components will be developed and tested for the Air Force.

Principal Investigator:

T. McKechnie
Principal Investigator

Business Contact:

Angela Hattaway
Contract Specialist
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