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Strain Tolerant Coatings/Coating Architectures


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Hypersonics; Advanced Materials


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 high temperature, oxidation resistant, strain tolerant coating solutions viable for hypersonic surfaces that undergo geometrical changes during flight.


DESCRIPTION: Significant investments have been made in the development of high temperature, oxidation resistant coatings capable of surviving extreme conditions of hypersonic flight, both acreage and stagnation point regions. Recent research efforts have also investigated advancing the performance of hypersonic systems by implementing morphing surfaces, such as vehicle outer mold line and control surfaces.  The low strain capability of state of the art coating solutions are not viable for highly morphing surfaces.  This topic seeks the development of coating chemistries and/or coating architectures that are viable for morphing surfaces.  Solutions should be able to adhere to flexing vehicle outer mold line and control surfaces during hypersonic flight.  Solutions must provide equivalent high temperature oxidation resistance performance to state of the art solutions.


PHASE I: Develop strain tolerant oxidation resistant coatings which could survive heat fluxes greater than 50 W/cm2 and are also flexible. The work should target strains above 5% in the coating during flight conditions.  Proposed coatings would be applicable to metallic substrates, carbon fiber composite substrates, or both.


PHASE II: Determine the strain capability of the coatings developed in Phase I, and test the survivability of the coatings developed in Phase I under simulated morphing hypersonic flight.  Demonstrate scalability of coating solutions to relevant geometries.  If the proposed coating solution has limited room temperature ductility, testing must demonstrate that the coating solution can survive handling and launch environments.


PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: Partner with a prime contractor to apply coatings to hypersonic aerocontrol surfaces that would be tested under high-enthalpy air flow on flexible materials. Proposals must include a demonstration of the ability to scale the coating process to required sizes, and the scrap rate of the coating process must be demonstrated to be less than 10 percent.



  1. High-temperature flexible, strength and hydrophobic YSZ/SiO2 nanofibrous membranes with excellent thermal insulation - ScienceDirect
  2. A highly strain and damage-tolerant thermal barrier coating fabricated by electro-sprayed zirconia hollow spheres.


KEYWORDS: Coatings; Hypersonics; Materials; Oxidation

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