The Development of TaC Fibers and TaC/TaC Composites
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MATERIALS & ELECTROCHEMICAL RESEARCH (ME
7960 S. Kolb Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85706
AbstractHighly aluminumized propellants required for new boosters generate very high temperatures and pressures that exceed the temperatures of refractory metal nozzles and existing composites composition nozzles fail due to stresses generated by the CTE differences in the fibers and matrix materials. Tantalum Carbide (TaC) has the second highest melting point of any material and does not undergo destructive phase changes on heating and cooling. TaC/TaC composites offer potential as composite nozzle throats for rockets using highly aluminumized propellants. A TaC fiber is enabling to produce TaC/TaC composites. As TaC fibers have not heretofore been produced, new processing approaches require development to produce a tow based TaC fiber. A unique demonstrated processing methodology will be utilized to produce continuous lengths of a tow based TaC fiber at less than 10µ diameter and strength greater than 1GPa. Also demonstrated processing to produce a TaC matrix will be utilized to produce TaC/TaC composites, and characterize. Tow based TaC fibers, composites and precursor material will be delivered to the Air Force.
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