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Increased Production Capacity of Cf/ZrC CMCs for Hypersonic and Related Applications

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Logistics Agency
Contract: SP4701-22-P-0065
Agency Tracking Number: L222-007-0160
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: DLA222-007
Solicitation Number: 22.2
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-08-25
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2023-02-24
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
 Timothy R. Stewart
 (818) 899-0236
Business Contact
 Craig N. Ward
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Research Institution

Hypersonic weapon flight performance is improved significantly by the drag reduction achieved when thermal protection system (TPS)-related structures remain sharp and shape-stable under all flight conditions. Ultramet’s approach to this design goal is to utilize its carbon fiber-reinforced zirconium carbide (Cf/ZrC) ceramic matrix composite (CMC) material for these applications. Ultramet has developed and established the feasibility of the Cf/ZrC CMC material for hypersonic and other reentry applications through more than 20 years of development, characterization, and testing in relevant environments, during which Cf/ZrC has shown great promise in these types of applications. In this project, Ultramet will seek to increase carbon chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) capabilities to commensurately increase Cf/ZrC CMC production rate. Carbon CVI is a crucial step in Ultramet’s melt infiltration process used for Cf/ZrC fabrication; however, carbon CVI capacity at Ultramet is limited due to the size and quantity of reactors available for it. Historically, Ultramet’s CVI capabilities and capacity have been well-suited for research efforts and low-rate production, but growing commercial needs will quickly outpace the existing CVI production capacity. Ultramet seeks to transition and validate the carbon CVI process to large-scale reactors as a natural progression toward increased CMC production capacity that will meet commercial CMC needs. Ultramet will work to transfer the carbon CVI process to larger reactors, perform a pilot CVI run to establish feasibility, and develop a scaleup plan for Phase II. The overarching goal of the project is to increase Cf/ZrC CMC production capacity, increase the manufacturing readiness level (MRL) of the Cf/ZrC CMC, and ultimately meet expected commercial capacity and schedule requirements for technology insertion into upcoming hypersonic vehicles and related applications for DoD.

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

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