Low Erosion, Lightweight Composites for Reaction Jet Control Systems

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Air Force
Contract: FA8651-07-M-0177
Agency Tracking Number: F071-149-3006
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2007
Solicitation Topic Code: AF071-149
Solicitation Number: 2007.1
Small Business Information
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811
DUNS: 799114574
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Tim McKechnie
 Principal Investigator
 (256) 851-7653
Business Contact
 Angela Hattaway
Title: Contract Specialist
Phone: (256) 851-7653
Email: ahattaway@plasmapros.com
Research Institution
Advanced, high-temperature Reaction Jet Control (RJC) systems provide agility, maneuverability and end-game lethality to missiles and precision guided munitions. The biggest technical challenge of the RJC program is developing low-cost, lightweight valves to withstand the extreme temperature environment of rocket motor exhaust. Rhenium metal has been demonstrated as the toughest, high-temperature, non-eroding metal in AP solid propellant combustion gas. The use of solid rhenium is limited due to cost and weight restrictions. Rhenium alternatives have limited high temperature capability and must be avoided at temperatures above 2600K to prevent unacceptable erosion Using functional rhenium coatings instead of expensive, free-standing, thick-wall components is an innovative way to reduce weight and cost while keeping the proven performance of rhenium. This proposal will evaluate using rhenium as a coating on high-temperature graphite to form a composite structure. Graphite has excellent high temperature properties and provides low-cost and low-weight valve components that can be quickly produced. The rhenium coating will provide erosion resistance while toughening the overall structure for shock and impact stresses. Lightweight RJC valve components will be developed and tested for the Air Force.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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