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Thermal Isolation of Nozzle Exit Cone Insulators


OBJECTIVE: Develop and demonstrate methods for thermally isolating a nozzle exit cone from its housing and the associated bondline joint. DESCRIPTION: One of the limitations of a rocket motor nozzle is the heat transfer from the exit cone to the housing and bondline joint during firing and heat soak. This is especially true of a dual pulse rocket motor with an inter-pulse delay (IPD) that allows for additional heat soak between firings. Isolation of the exit cone retains the bondline joint integrity and reduces the temperature of adjacent components, such as, a flex bearing. For a dual pulse motor, this would allow for a longer IPD with greater flexibility in mission profiles due to added thermal protection and exit cone retention strength. An innovation in applying thermal barrier coatings to phenolic nozzle components, such as, Carbon Cloth Phenolic (CCP) would reduce the heat transfer during and after operation of a rocket motor using a phenolic nozzle exit cone. The innovation should be both durable and lightweight while lowering the heat transfer into the bondline to maintain strength, and also reduce the heat transfer into the nozzle housing. The innovation should be compatible with traditional nozzle materials and adhesives while increasing performance over current state-of-the-art. PHASE I: Develop a proof of concept, identify candidate materials for coatings, test capabilities, and conduct feasibility assessment for the proposed technology. Results from the design and assessment will be documented for Phase II. PHASE II: Develop and demonstrate prototype designs incorporating Phase I technology in a relevant test environment. Develop and document design and/or test approaches. Perform appropriate characterization and testing, e.g. sub-scale motor tests. PHASE III: The developed technology should have direct insertion potential into missile defense systems. Conduct engineering and manufacturing development, test and evaluation and hardware qualification. Demonstration would include, but not limited to, demonstration in a real system or operation in a system level test-bed with insertion planning for a missile defense interceptor. COMMERCIALIZATION: The technologies developed under this SBIR topic should have applicability to automobile industry, aerospace industry unmanned vehicles, etc.
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