Advanced Foam Core Composite Insulation for Extended Range Hypersonic Vehicles

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Air Force
Amount:
$100,000.00
Award Year:
2007
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
FA8650-07-M-5051
Agency Tracking Number:
F071-128-2659
Solicitation Year:
2007
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF071-128
Solicitation Number:
2007.1
Small Business Information
ULTRAMET
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, 91331
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
052405867
Principal Investigator
 Victor Arrieta
 Senior Research Engineer
 (818) 899-0236
 victor.arrieta@ultramet.com
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Engineering Administrative Manager
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Email: craig.ward@ultramet.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Hypersonic flight requires the development of insulating materials with a combination of thermal conductivity, density, and structural integrity that is beyond the capability of materials currently in use. In previous thermal protection system work for DoD and NASA, Ultramet developed a highly insulating and lightweight material by combining an open-cell foam skeleton with an ultralow-density aerogel filler material. The foam serves as an easily machinable structural reinforcement for the low-strength aerogel insulator and defines the shape of the component. The combined density of the foam/aerogel composite insulator is <0.07 g/cm3 (4.4 lb/ft3); processing is economical and is readily scalable to 2 × 2 × 12" thick flat and curved shapes. The material has a thermal conductivity of only 0.25 W/m•K at 2000ºF and 0.8 W/m•K at 3600ºF, and has demonstrated the ability to maintain large thermal gradients for extended periods. Equally as important for hypersonic vehicle applications, the foam/aerogel insulator has a use temperature approaching 4000ºF, nearly 1000ºF greater than conventional oxide-based insulators. The previous work has focused on enclosing the insulator within a free-standing structural shell. The potential exists to increase the strength and stiffness of the foam reinforcement such that it can be integrated with a carbon-based aeroshell, creating a load-bearing sandwich structure, while still maintaining acceptable density and thermal conductivity. In this project, Ultramet will team with Materials Research & Design (MR&D) for thermal-mechanical modeling and attachment design methodologies, and Ocellus for aerogel insulation processing, to develop and demonstrate a sandwich panel core insulator.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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