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Tantalum Carbide Forming MAX Phase Material for Solid Rocket Motor Throats

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0860-21-C-7022
Agency Tracking Number: B202-002-0182
Amount: $149,952.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA20-002
Solicitation Number: 20.2
Solicitation Year: 2020
Award Year: 2021
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-12-28
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-06-30
Small Business Information
300 E. Swedesford Rd
Wayne, PA 19087-1858
United States
DUNS: 966563884
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Gary Tiscia
 (203) 530-5699
Business Contact
 Gary Tiscia
Phone: (203) 530-5699
Research Institution

Recent developments with the maturation and characterization of MAX phase materials indicate that a handful of these materials would be suitable for the heat produced by third stage rocket motors (TSRM). The majority of investigations have focused on alumina forming ‘211’ MAX phase systems that form an adherent oxide scale. However, tantalum carbide forming MAX phase materials offer an alternative approach to high performance rocket motor throat materials. As opposed to the expensive/difficult route of fabricating and machining bulk tantalum carbide, tantalum carbide forming MAX phase materials are readily machinable and thermally decompose into tantalum carbide at elevated temperatures. MR&D plans to team up with the Greenleaf Corporation in order to investigate a tantalum carbide forming MAX phase composition for TSRM throats. This proposed MAX phase material evaluation work will be accomplished with a three-pronged approach including computational thermomechanical analyses of the rocket motor throat supported by first-principle property prediction techniques, fabrication optimization techniques to produce a phase pure MAX phase composition, and material characterization via thermomechanical testing and oxyacetylene torch test evaluation. Approved for Public Release | 20-MDA-10643 (3 Dec 20)

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