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Ballistic Missile System Innovative Propulsion Products

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
Sensintel Inc.
3292 E. Hemisphere Loop Tucson, AZ 85706-5013
View profile »
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2003
Title: Ballistic Missile System Innovative Propulsion Products
Agency / Branch: DOD / MDA
Contract: N0016703C0058
Award Amount: $69,997.00


Advanced Ceramics Research, Inc. (ACR) proposes to develop a process to fabricate propulsion components that exhibit improved thermo-mechanical properties when compared to the materials currently in use. This effort combines Isotropic ParticulateComposite (IPC) technology, an offshoot of our Fibrous Monolith (FM) composite processing, and gel casting expertise to develop a new generation of low-cost damage tolerant ceramic-matrix composites. These composites have a variety of potentialapplications including rocket nozzle and thrusters, attitude control valves and blast shields for aircraft carrier decks. To fabricate propulsion components, a mold of the part will be made, and then loosely filled with a particulate material consistingof a core particle of zirconium carbide (ZrC) surrounded by a boundary layer of hexagonal BN. The mold will then be infiltrated with ZrC gel casting slurry to form a green part. The part will then be delubed and sintered into a dense body. Using thisprocess, an isotropic composite will be formed that exhibits the trademark thermal shock resistance, thermal and mechanical properties in propulsion applications of ZrC based Fibrous Monoliths. In addition, the part will have uniform mechanical andthermal properties that will be independent of orientation. The industrial applications of the materials and components developed under this Phase I program are applicable to both the defense and commercial sectors. Our discussions with defensecontractors have led to expressions of interest from Honeywell AE, as well as ATK, Raytheon Missile Systems, and Aerojet. For the US government MDA programs, the potential applications are in (a) hot gas divert systems (b) rocket nozzles and (c) thrusterhousings. ACR has already established close supplier and development relationships with a number of relevant rocket motor manufacturers. Other potential defense related propulsion applications include standard missile-3 (SM3) solid divert and attitudecontrol (SDACS) system for sea-based missile defense (SMD), national missile defense (NMD), theater high altitude air defense (THAAD), integrated high performance rocket propulsion technology (IHPRPT), and missile control technology (MCT). Other hightemperature applications include thrusters for satellite station keeping, high temperature jet engine and turbine engine components.Potential commercial applications to be explored during the course of Phase I include structural components in high temperature regions of commercial aircraft engines and commercial space launch vehicles. Based on past commercialization experience, suchas the development of the Fibrous Monolith coated drill bit inserts with Smith International and the development of metal cutting tools with Kyocera Industrial Ceramics via funding from the DOE, and the considerable interest has expressed in our technologyfor high temperature applications we expect this program to move us immediately into a position of obtaining private sector support.

Principal Investigator:

Michael Fulcher
Research Engineer

Business Contact:

Brett Waldo
Small Business Information at Submission:

3292 E. Hemisphere Loop Tucson, AZ 85706

EIN/Tax ID: 860640868
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No