Low-Erosion, Light-Weight Rhenium Graphite Composites for SDACS
Rhenium is the current material of choice for several critical valve components in a solid divert and attitude control system (DACS) due to its erosion resistance, high-temperature strength, and compatibility with propellant exhaust products. However, bulk rhenium is disadvantaged by being expensive and extremely dense. In order to reduce cost and weight of rhenium DACS components, a different approach must be considered. Rhenium-coated graphite can offer both superior erosion resistance and strength while reducing component cost and weight. During this Phase 1 investigation, PPI will team with ATK to design a nozzle/pintle combination based on rhenium-coated graphite. Using PPI"s innovative EL-Form technique, rhenium will be electrochemically deposited onto a graphite nozzle/pintle combination. Process parameters will be optimized to ensure a uniform coating is produced on all graphite surfaces. The optimized parameters will be used to produce a nozzle that will then be hot gas tested at ATK"s facility. During Phase II, the processing parameters will be further optimized with an emphasis on multi-component processing to reduce component costs. Re-coated graphite nozzle/pintle components will then be fabricated and hot fire tested in ATK"s DACS. A key target acquisition for this technology will be the SM-3 Block IIB DACS.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Timothy N. McKechnie
President/Senior Materials Engineer
Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811-1558
Number of Employees: