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Alumina Fiber-Reinforced 9310 Steel Metal Matrix Composite for Rotorcraft Drive System Components

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX10CC09P
Agency Tracking Number: 095370
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: A2.09
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: 2009
Award Year: 2010
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2010-01-29
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2010-07-29
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
United States
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 James Selin
 Principal Investigator
 (818) 899-0236
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Engineering Administrative Mgr
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Research Institution

AISI 9310 nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy steel is used extensively in military helicopter rotor shafts and gears. This reliable alloy provides excellent fatigue life combined with high hardness, elastic modulus, and tensile strength. However, to facilitate rapid speed changes of variable drive systems in high-performance rotorcraft, these steel components must weigh less and have lower rotational inertia. Ultramet will develop and demonstrate a material system consisting of continuous alumina fiber-reinforced 9310 steel. Relative to the unmodified alloy, this material system will offer reduced weight, increased strength, and increased stiffness while maintaining the excellent heat treatment properties and hardening schedules of 9310 steel. The composite will be lighter than the base alloy by 15–23%, possess significantly higher specific strength and stiffness, maintain comparable corrosion resistance, and allow the continued use of proven 9310 steel. The composite will be produced using an innovative variant of Ultramet's rapid, low-cost pressureless melt infiltration technology previously demonstrated for fabrication of fiber-reinforced ceramic matrix composites.

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

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