SILICON-CARBIDE REINFORCED ALUMINUM FOR LIGHTWEIGHT TORPEDO HULL APPLICATIONS

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N/A
Agency Tracking Number: 10018
Amount: $50,075.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 1989
Solicitation Year: N/A
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
2975 Redhill Ave, Costa Mesa, CA, 92626
DUNS: N/A
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Douglas A Marx
 (714) 540-8900
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
TORPEDO HULL SECTIONS ARE CURRENTLY EITHER CAST OR FORGED FROM ALUMINUM. DUE TO THE INHERENTLY MODERATE STRENGTH AND STIFFNESS TO WEIGHT RATIOS AFFORDED BY ALUMINUM, RELATIVELY THICK TORPEDO HULL SECTIONS ARE REQUIRED TO WITHSTAND THE HYDRODYNAMIC LOADS ENCOUNTERED DURING DEEP DEPTH OPERATIONS AS WELL AS THE DYNAMIC LOADS ENCOUNTERED DURING SURFACE TESTING. CONSEQUENTLY, THE MAJORITY OF THE TORPEDO WEIGHT IS ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE HULL, THEREBY SEVERELY LIMITING THE INTERNAL PAYLOAD, INCLUDING BATTERIES, MOTOR, AND ORDNANCE THAT CAN BE PACKAGED ONBOARD. IN AN EFFORT TO IMPROVE OVERALL TORPEDO CAPABILITY, IT IS DESIRABLE TO REDUCE THE HULL SECTION WEIGHT. TO ACCOMPLISH THIS, REQUIRES FABRICATING TORPEDO HULLS FROM ALTERNATE MATERIALS EXHIBITING MUCH GREATER STRENGTH AND STIFFNESS TO WEIGHT RATIOS. HOWEVER, THESE ALTERNATE MATERIALS MUST ALSO BE CAPABLE OF ACCOMMODATING A SEGEMENTED HULL CONSTRUCTION WITH PENETRATORS AND BE COST COMPETITIVE WITH EXISTING ALUMINUM ALLOYS PRESENTLY IN USE. SILICO-CARBIDE PARTICULATE REINFORCED ALUMINUM METAL MATRIX COMPOSITES AFFORD EXCEPTIONALLY HIGH STRENGTH AND STIFFNESS TO WEIGHT RATIOS AT A VERY AFFORDABLE PRICE WHILE STILL MAINTAINING MANY OF THE DESIRABLE MANUFACTURING CHARACTERISTICS OF ALUMINUM. FOR THIS REASON,SILICON-CARBIDE REINFORCED ALUMINUM APPEARS TO BE AN EXCELLENT MATERIAL FOR FABRICATING HIGH STRENGTH, LIGHT WEIGHT TORPEDO HULL SECTIONS. THE PROPOSED EFFORT PRESENTED HERE WILL ATTEMPT TO MAKE A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF THE FEASIBILITY OF USING SILICON-CARBIDE REINFORCED ALUMINUM IN TORPEDO HULL SECTIONS. THIS EFFORT WILL ENTAILBOTH A PRELIMINARY CHARACTERIZATION OF MATERIAL PROPERTIES AS WELL AS AN ESTIMATE OF THE POTENTIAL WEIGHT SAVINGS ACHIEVABLE WITH A SILICON-CARBIDE ALUMINUM METAL MATRIX COMPOSITE.

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

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