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Refractory Metal Foam Core Sandwich Panel Development to Enable Morphing of Hypersonic Air Platform Control Surfaces

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0860-21-C-7043
Agency Tracking Number: B202-007-0240
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA20-007
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
12173 Montague Street
Pacoima, CA 91331-2210
United States
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Victor M. Arrieta
 (818) 899-0236
Business Contact
 Craig N. Ward
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Research Institution

Hypersonic air platform component functionality and survivability in the extreme thermal and mechanical load environments of Mach 5+ flight require oxidation-resistant materials capable of retaining mechanical strength, toughness, and structural integrity at high temperatures. Realizing morphing capability in multi-mission air platform aerodynamic control surface components adds a requirement of seamless flexibility and another dimension of complexity and severity to the hypersonic material system requirements. The proposed development will utilize Ultramet’s decades of experience in the processing and application of advanced refractory materials to develop the component technology needed to impart a robust flexible, oxidation-resistant, and seamless morphing capability to aerodynamic control surfaces of hypersonic air platforms. In this project, Ultramet will demonstrate the feasibility of using advanced, flexible refractory materials to enable innovative component designs to impart morphing capabilities to aerodynamic control surfaces of hypersonic air platforms operating above 3000°F. A nominally 1" thick test component will be designed, fabricated, and subjected to high temperature oxidation testing and bend demonstration around a 12" radius. The deformable sandwich structure will be composed of a thin, ductile niobium outer facesheet, coated with a high temperature oxidation-resistant platinum-iridium coating, which will be bonded to a structural and deformable open-cell niobium foam core that is filled with highly insulating carbon aerogel. A layer of ceramic felt insulation and a niobium foam backing sheet will complete the structure. In Phase I, initial feasibility demonstration of the deformable high temperature control surface will include preliminary thermostructural modeling, prototype fabrication, and flexural and oxidation testing. Following successful demonstration, a specific hypersonic platform component will be identified in conjunction with an MDA prime contractor for continued materials and processing optimization in Phase II. Approved for Public Release | 20-MDA-10643 (3 Dec 20)

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

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