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Low-cost, Agile Manufacturing of High Temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites
Phone: (978) 738-8181
Phone: (978) 689-0003
The Air Force requires high temperature components for turbine engines, rocket motors, and sections of hypersonic systems exposed to high speed flow. Traditional metals such as Inconel are expensive in bulk and time-consuming to machine. Ceramic Matrix Composites are substantially lighter than refractory metals and have higher temperature performance, but require expensive hand layup of fabric to provide complex structural shapes such as engine volutes, scramjet flow path directors, and hypersonic flow control surfaces. Under internal funding, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has demonstrated the feasibility of casting Carbon-reinforced Silicon Carbide (C/SiC) composite materials. The PSI team has formulated the core chemistry and demonstrated both the material casting methods and the post-casting processing steps that result in rigid C/SiC components of arbitrary geometry. Subsequent testing of structural material coupons has shown performance at 3,300°F in an oxidizing flow. During the proposed Phase II program, the team will refine the material formulation and casting methodology. The technology will be applied to a current Air Force-related high temperature rocket motor component as well as a commercial engine component and tested in an operational system (TRL 5-6). The team will also demonstrate the ability to produce prototype components in a production-relevant environment (MRL 5).
* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *