Infiltration of Carbon Foam for Mid-Density Ablative Thermal Protection Systems

Award Information
Agency:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch
n/a
Amount:
$99,993.00
Award Year:
2008
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
NNX08CB08P
Award Id:
87958
Agency Tracking Number:
074319
Solicitation Year:
n/a
Solicitation Topic Code:
n/a
Solicitation Number:
n/a
Small Business Information
The Millenium Centre, RR 1, Box 100B, Triadelphia, WV, 26059
Hubzone Owned:
N
Minority Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
101582922
Principal Investigator:
Harry Danford
Principal Investigator
(304) 547-5800
hed@trl.com
Business Contact:
Janet Joseph
Business Official
(304) 547-5800
jrj@trl.com
Research Institution:
n/a
Abstract
This proposal addresses NASA's need for improved TPS materials. The incumbent CEV heatshield TPS for Orion's Block II lunar return is PICA, a low-density carbon fiber infiltrated with phenolic resin. Variants of PICA with improved thermomechanical properties would benefit future missions. This effort will create a series of "mid-density" ablative materials to fill the gap between low-density PICA and high-density Carbon-Carbon. Touchstone's carbon foam (CFOAMREG) has excellent thermomechanical properties, can be tailored to a range of densities (12 to 95 lbs/cu-ft), and has an open-cell structure allowing infiltration of high-temperature materials. Aspen Aerogels recently completed a Phase II subcontract with Touchstone demonstrating the capability of fully infiltrating CFOAMREG with phloroglucinol-furfuraldehyde carbon aerogels with chemistry similar to PICA's. Phase I will use carbon aerogel infiltration in CFOAMREG samples of 3 densities from 17 to 35 lb/cu-ft to be calcined at Touchstone to carbonize the aerogel, creating a mass of amorphous carbon within the pore structure. Filling CFOAMREG pores with pure carbon yields an inherent reduction in the TPS radiant heat transfer. Fully carbonized samples will be re-infiltrated with PICA phenolic resin, and sample characterization will be conducted via SEM to demonstrate the capability of producing small-scale Carbon Foam-Aerogel/Phenolic composites at various densities. At the end of Phase I, the TRL will be 3-4 and then 4-5 by the conclusion of Phase II.

* 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