Sintered Boron as High-Strength, Lightweight Structural Material for Aerospace Vehicles
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104 Centre Ct., Radford, VA, 24141
AbstractBeryllium (Be) is an ideal material for aerospace applications owing to its low density, radiation resistance and high strength. Due to increasing concern about the toxicity of Be, the search for substitute materials is a priority in the MDA's research and development roadmap. In response to this need, HY-Tech Research Corporation proposes to demonstrate that the special boron sintering process, originally developed to produce robust cathodes for its cathodic arc-based coating process, can also deliver material suitable as Be/Be alloy replacement. HY-Tech's process produces consolidated boron compacts that are 60-70% of theoretical density, which makes them both lighter and stronger than Be. In the Phase I project, all the relevant mechanical properties will be measured. Machining options will also be examined to determine whether it is better to make complex components from simple boron plates that are brazed together or by machining monolithic large compacts. An innovative metalization technique, that will make joining of boron plates easier, will also be demonstrated. The Option 1 project will deal with manufacturing issues and the Phase II project will focus to scaling up the sintering process and optimizing the manufacturing of final components, primarily for interceptors in the MDA's Ground-based Mid-course Defense program.
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