Low Erosion, Lightweight Composites for Reaction Jet Control Systems

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Air Force
Amount:
$749,995.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
FA8651-08-C-0137
Agency Tracking Number:
F071-149-3006
Solicitation Year:
2007
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF071-149
Solicitation Number:
2007.1
Small Business Information
PLASMA PROCESSES, INC.
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
799114574
Principal Investigator:
Daniel Butts
Principal Investigator
(256) 851-7653
dbutts@plasmapros.com
Business Contact:
Timothy McKechnie
President
(256) 851-7653
timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
Reaction Jet Control (RJC) systems will provide agility, maneuverability and end-game lethality to missiles and precision guided munitions. Demonstration of this technology is an important milestone in the development of next generation multi role missiles, such as the Joint Dual Role Air Dominance Missile (JDRADM). The major 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 successfully demonstrated as a high-temperature, non-eroding metal in solid propellant combustion gas. However, the use of monolithic rhenium components is limited due to cost and weight restrictions. Rhenium substitutes, such as silica-phenolic, carbide ceramics and coated carbon composites, have been designed, but are limited due to unacceptable erosion at elevated temperatures (e.g. 2600°K). The employment of functional rhenium coated graphite instead of expensive, free-standing, components is an innovative way to reduce up to 84% of the weight and cost, while keeping the proven performance of rhenium. An innovative deposition technique, known as EL-Form, was optimized in a Phase I investigation to manufacture RJC components for hot impact testing. Phase II efforts will focus on testing, cost mitigation tasks, RJC component fabrication and component evaluation via hot gas firing by Honeywell. Additionally, pintles for Aerojet’s JDRADM RJC design will be fabricated for hot fire testing.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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