Advanced Materials and Manufacturing for Low-Cost, High-Performance Liquid Rocket Combustion Chambers

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNJ04JC20C
Agency Tracking Number: 034897
Amount: $70,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2004
Solicitation Year: 2003
Solicitation Topic Code: E2.05
Solicitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
12173 Montague St, Pacoima, CA, 91331-2210
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Brian Williams
 Principal Investigator
 (818) 899-0236
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Engineering Administrative Mgr
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Research Institution
Silicided niobium alloy (C103) combustion chambers have been used extensively in both NASA and DoD liquid rocket propulsion systems. Niobium alloys offer a good combination of temperature capability, density, and cost, while the silicide coating has been successful in providing moderate oxidation resistance. However, the silicide coating is now proving to be the limiting factor in achieving the required chamber performance and/or lifetime, and the chamber manufacturing cost is excessive for many applications. NASA is seeking advanced bipropellant propulsion systems for Earth science spacecraft with a specific impulse exceeding 360 seconds, and intends to extend the life of the current space shuttle orbiter reaction control system vernier thrusters to 300,000 seconds of operation to meet demands for increased usage. DoD is seeking economical and high-performance bipropellant thrusters for liquid divert and attitude control systems for kinetic energy weapon kill vehicles being developed for ballistic missile defense, a high-volume application. These goals cannot be achieved using silicided C103 chambers. In this project, Ultramet proposes to demonstrate a combustion chamber with substantially improved manufacturability, cost, and performance. This will be accomplished by combining rapid prototyping, for the fabrication of precision removable chamber mandrels; a low cost niobium alloy component forming process; and chemical vapor deposition, which will be used to apply a high temperature oxidation-resistant coating.

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

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