Low-Cost, Lightweight Rocket Nozzle Materials For Tactical Missle

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Navy
Amount:
$69,188.00
Award Year:
1996
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
n/a
Award Id:
31855
Agency Tracking Number:
31855
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
P.O. Box 865, San Marcos, CA, 92079
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
n/a
Principal Investigator:
Dr. James E. Sheenan
(619) 489-8522
Business Contact:
() -
Research Institute:
n/a
Abstract
Current tactical missile rocket nozzles provide adequate performance, but it is expected that significant improvements can be realized if the present generation nozzles are replaced with composite nozzles composed of carbon fibers and hafnium or zirconium-based ceramic matrix materials. Present development of advanced composite nozzles has focused on costly chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) as the method of fabrication. An alternate fabrication method based on liquid impregnation and pyrolysis is proposed here as a potentially low- cost replacement or enhancement for CVI. A survey of appropriate liquid or liquefiable precursors for hafnium and zirconium ceramics showed that the use of relatively inexpensive acetates, chlorides, alkoxides, and colloids has the potential for reducing the cost of the composites. Processing involves repeated cycles of vacuum impregnation of the liquid precursor into a carbon fiber preform, drying or gelation to form a solid, and pyrolysis at high temperatures in inert gas. Hybrid processes combining CVI and liquid impregnation and pyrolysis may also be more cost-effective than CVI alone. A 6 month Phase I program to be performed in three sequential tasks is proposed to prove the feasibility and demonstrate the potential of the liquid impregnation and pyrolysis approach. In Task I pyrolysis experiments will be conducted to determine the yield, chemical composition, and phase constitution of ceramic products obtained from the various precursors and important precursor mixtures. A reduced list of precursors selected on the basis of the Task 1 results will be used to fabricate small composite samples by impregnation and pyrolysis in Task 2. The nature of the matrix materials and matrix-fiber characteristics will be evaluated in Task 2 and the most promising precursors will be used to fabricate samples for mechanical testing in Task 3. An optional Task 4 is proposed for the fabrication and matrix-fiber characteristics will be evaluated in Task 2 and the most promising precursors will be used sponsor for evaluation. Demonstrating effective and efficient processing using precursors of reasonable cost to fabricate composites of acceptable tensile

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

Agency Micro-sites


SBA logo

Department of Agriculture logo

Department of Commerce logo

Department of Defense logo

Department of Education logo

Department of Energy logo

Department of Health and Human Services logo

Department of Homeland Security logo

Department of Transportation logo

Enviromental Protection Agency logo

National Aeronautics and Space Administration logo

National Science Foundation logo
US Flag An Official Website of the United States Government