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Toolset For Prediction of Carbon-Carbon Aeroshell Properties Based On Constituent Materials And Manufacturing Process Parameters

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8649-20-C-0322
Agency Tracking Number: F19A-021-0005
Amount: $749,994.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: AF19A-T021
Solicitation Number: 19.A
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-09-11
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-05-15
Small Business Information
13290 Evening Creek Drive South
San Diego, CA 92128-4695
United States
DUNS: 133709001
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Carl Pray
 (703) 225-7437
Business Contact
 Joshua Davis
Phone: (858) 480-2028
Research Institution
 Southwest Research Institute
 Steve Wall
9503 W Commerce
San Antonio, TX 78227-1301
United States

 (210) 522-2081
 Nonprofit College or University

Carbon-carbon (C-C) composites are used in the fabrication of aeroshells and thermal protection systems (TPS) in hypersonic and atmospheric reentry applications because they maintain their strength at elevated temperatures and have desirable thermal conductivity properties. Although these materials have been used in mission-critical components for decades, the effects of variations in processing methods on overall performance of the composite are not fully understood, and it is currently not possible to predict the final physical and mechanical properties of 2D C-C components from knowledge of the composite constituents and manufacturing methods. To overcome these limitations, ATA Engineering, Inc., (ATA) and Southwest Research Institution (SwRI) are developing a software framework for predicting the response of C-C composites with varying manufacturing and processing parameters. The toolset uses molecular dynamics techniques to make atomistic-scale material property predictions for varying manufacturing process parameters, such as process ramp rate, hold time, and peak temperature. These predictions will be linked to microstructure-scale material properties using informatics technology techniques to define relationships between the atomistic and microstructure-scale properties. The Phase I effort demonstrated feasibility of the proposed approach. Manufacturing process modeling tool requirements were defined and documented in a software requirements specification (SRS), molecular dynamic modeling was demonstrated for the fiber-to-matrix interface for a single pyrolysis cycle, and an ICME framework was developed to scale the molecular dynamics material property predictions to the micro-scale in order to predict the 2D C-C bulk composite properties. Also, a data correlation appliance (DCA) was developed to define relationships between manufacturing process parameters and final composite material properties. The proposed Phase II technology improvements involve developing, demonstrating, and validating three novel modules to form a C-C manufacturing process modeling toolset. These three modules will provide systematic workflows for the computational material process modeling (CMPM), an integrated computational materials engineering (ICME) framework, and an enhanced DCA. To develop data for validation of the toolset, the project team will create and test 2D C-C panels with varied manufacturing process parameters. The panels will be tested for molecular properties at intermediate processing steps for validation of the CMPM molecular scale predictions, and mechanical testing of the fully processed panel will be done to validate the ICME framework and DCA outcomes relative to C-C strength and stiffness. At the conclusion of the program, the technology will be packaged in a software package that includes source code, user manual, and guided training material.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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