Economical Manufacture of Refractory Ceramic Matrix Composite Aerostructure with Integral Thermal Protection System for Kinetic Energy Interceptor

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: W9113M-07-C-0062
Agency Tracking Number: B063-028-1244
Amount: $99,953.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2007
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA06-028
Solicitation Number: 2006.3
Small Business Information
12173 Montague Street, Pacoima, CA, 91331
DUNS: 052405867
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Victor Arrieta
 Research Engineer
 (818) 899-0236
Business Contact
 Craig Ward
Title: Engineering Administrative Manager
Phone: (818) 899-0236
Research Institution
The thermal, mechanical, and chemical environment generated during launch and flight of hypersonic missiles is severe. Ultramet has developed a melt infiltration process for rapid fabrication of refractory ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) including matrices of zirconium carbide, hafnium carbide, silicon carbide, and ceramic alloys including two or more of these materials. The carbon fiber reinforcement provides high strength and toughness and can be braided or wrapped into complex shapes that are retained after the melt process and require little or no postprocess machining. Significant ultrahigh temperature testing of these composites has been performed with good results. Ultramet has also developed and tested high temperature, low cost insulators composed of open-cell carbon foam that is filled with a low conductivity carbon aerogel insulator. The potential exists to combine and optimize melt infiltrated CMCs with foam-based insulators that meet the demanding requirements of hypersonic missile airframes while also demonstrating affordable processing. Ultramet proposes to assemble a development team comprising Materials Research & Design for thermal/mechanical modeling and erosion prediction methodologies, Ocellus Inc. for carbon aerogel/carbon foam insulation processing, and Raytheon Missile Systems for airframe requirements definition. In Phase I, aerostructure prototype components will be fabricated and subjected to high temperature oxidation testing to 3500ºF at the Laser Hardened Materials Evaluation Laboratory.

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

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