Innovative Integration of Carbon Foam and Aerogel

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0006-04-C-7043
Agency Tracking Number: B041-035-0620
Amount: $99,996.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA04-035
Solicitation Number: 2004.1
Small Business Information
The Millennium Centre, R.R. 1, Box 100B, Triadelphia, WV, 26059
DUNS: 101582922
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Drew Spradling
 Ceramic Process Engineer
 (304) 547-5800
 dms@trl.com
Business Contact
 Brian Joseph
Title: President
Phone: (304) 547-5800
Email: bej@trl.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Lightweight and structurally strong carbon foam will be integrated with an inexpensive, super insulating carbon or silica aerogel resulting in a new material that, when combined, will increase performance over either material individually. MDA has a need for thermal protection systems to withstand enormous shear stresses of hypersonic flight for rapid global deployment of munitions payloads. Touchstone has developed and brought to market a lightweight, strong carbon foam that is inexpensive to manufacture. While this material has good insulating properties, combining it with an aerogel - the lightest and most insulating solid known to exist - will yield strong, lightweight super insulation that can be used as thermal protection for munitions deployment vehicles and payloads. Due to some manufacturing similarities and inherent open-celled structure of carbon foam, the potential for combining the two materials will mean lower costs and quicker production cycles for this new composite material. Phase I work will prove technical feasibility of aerogel infiltration of carbon foam, including thermal and mechanical testing. Integration of the two inexpensive manufacturing processes will result in Phase II focusing on pilot-scale manufacturing and identification of possible reductions in overall production times and equipment requirements. Low manufacturing costs of carbon foam together with a low-cost aerogel process will ultimately allow for feasible insertion into ballistic missile defense technologies.

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

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