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Coatings for Sharp Hypersonic Leading Edges


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Hypersonics The technology within this topic is restricted under the International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR), 22 CFR Parts 120-130, which controls the export and import of defense-related material and services, including export of sensitive technical data, or the Export Administration Regulation (EAR), 15 CFR Parts 730-774, which controls dual use items. Offerors must disclose any proposed use of foreign nationals (FNs), their country(ies) of origin, the type of visa or work permit possessed, and the statement of work (SOW) tasks intended for accomplishment by the FN(s) in accordance with the Announcement. Offerors are advised foreign nationals proposed to perform on this topic may be restricted due to the technical data under US Export Control Laws. OBJECTIVE: Develop robust oxidation resistant coatings for metals and/or composites to enable shape stable performance in extreme heat flux environments. DESCRIPTION: Sharp leading edges and nose tips for hypersonic vehicles are beneficial because they enable low drag, but it is difficult to produce sharp leading edges that retain their shape throughout hypersonic flight due to rapid heating, oxidation, and aerodynamic forces. This topic seeks protective coating solutions that enable shape retention and prevent passage of oxygen at high transient heat fluxes, for tens of seconds. Coating solutions are sought for both metallic and composite substrates. Metallic substrates of interest include tungsten alloys (e.g. W-25Re), niobium alloys (e.g. C103), and molybdenum alloys (e.g. TZM - titanium-zirconium-molybdenum). Composite substrates of interest include carbon-carbon, carbon-silicon-carbide, and carbon-carbon-silicon-carbide. Solutions must provide the coating, but solutions may also include modifications to the substrate material and intermediate layers to improve coating interface. Novel coating solutions with functionally graded, structural compatibility and high interfacial characteristics are desired. Vertical integration of coat solution is desired but not required. If proposing glass forming coating solutions, analytical models and simulation tools to predict formed glass retention as a function of temperature and shear is desired. Proposals must provide a path to mature production capability. Mature production capability includes 100 leading edges per year throughput and <10% scrap rate. PHASE I: Evaluate feasibility of proposed coating solution through analytical modeling and simulation, process modeling and/or proof of concept testing. Material formulation and/or coupon fabrication is recommended to provide evaluation of critical properties. Work with hypersonic system integrators to understand environments. PHASE II: Continue material and process development through design, analysis, and experimentation. Optimize processing parameters for yield and quality. Scale process to facilitate coating of leading edge components representative of full-scale configurations, as agreed to by the government. Experimental validation techniques should simulate representative heat fluxes and pressures. Diagnostics and/or process modeling techniques should be utilized to ensure experimental evaluation approach is traceable to target environment. Demonstration in a representative environment is desired. Phase II should identify insertion opportunities, include cost/rate estimates and conclude with definition of a mature manufacturing process. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Work with a hypersonic system integrator to iteratively design and fabricate prototype components for high-fidelity testing in a relevant environment for current or future missile defense applications. A successful Phase III would provide the necessary technical data to transition the technology into a missile defense application. REFERENCES: 1.; 2. KEYWORDS: Coatings; Leading Edges; Hypersonics; Materials; High Temperatures; Oxidation
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