High-Throughput Manufacturing of Rhenium SDACS Components, Phase II
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
A large number of the rhenium components used in the solid divert and attitude control system (SDACS) of the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) LEAP kinetic kill vehicle, being developed for missile defense in the Aegis LEAP Intercept (ALI) program, are fabricated by chemical vapor deposition (CVD). While CVD offers the most cost-effective manufacturing approach for these components, further improvements in production throughput and cost are desired. In Phase I, Ultramet demonstrated that seven main thruster assembly (MTA) thrusters, instead of one, could be simultaneously coated in a single CVD reactor without increasing the deposition time. It was further demonstrated that the rhenium usage efficiency could be increased by 20% relative to the current process, and that the time required to machine MTA thrusters could be reduced by 40% relative to the wire electrical discharge machining (EDM) process currently used. In Phase II, Ultramet will continue to increase the production efficiency of MTA thrusters by further developing the CVD process to include nine thrusters, further developing the machining process to increase its efficiency, and developing/applying innovative quality assurance techniques to increase confidence in the product. The efficacy of the new processes will be demonstrated by several techniques, including hot-fire testing of several thrusters. The result will be a dramatic increase in process throughput and production capacity, an increase in product reliability, a decrease in the number of CVD reactors required for a given job, and a commensurate decrease in the unit production cost.
Small Business Information at Submission:
12173 Montague Street Pacoima, CA 91331
Number of Employees: