Aerogel Thermal Protection Systems for Aircraft Exhaust Washed Composite Structures

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Amount:
$749,641.00
Program:
SBIR
Contract:
FA8650-04-C-5309
Solitcitation Year:
2003
Solicitation Number:
2003.1
Branch:
Air Force
Award Year:
2004
Phase:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
F031-2000
Solicitation Topic Code:
AF03-115
Small Business Information
ASPEN AEROGELS, INC.
184 CEDAR HILL STREET, MARLBOROUGH, MA, 01752
Hubzone Owned:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Duns:
012924069
Principal Investigator
 Wendell Rhine
 (508) 481-5058
 wrhine@aerogel.com
Business Contact
 Kang Lee
Phone: (508) 481-5058
Email: contracts@aerogel.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Insulation systems are needed to protect external aircraft structures from the high temperatures generated by engine exhaust gases. Currently, a typical thermal protection system for aircraft applications involves bonding ceramic tiles onto the aircraft. The bonded ceramic tiles are completely exposed and subject to the external environment. Although the tiles provide the necessary thermal protection, they are relatively soft and are degraded by impact with environmental particulates. Such deterioration results in high costs because frequent maintenance and replacement is required to keep the aircraft in operation. Therefore, improved thermal and impact protection systems are needed to improve the reliability and durability of aircraft structures. Aerogels are presently the best thermal insulation material available exhibiting excellent thermal, acoustic, and vibration protection. Aerogel materials have already demonstrated their superiority as both high and low temperature insulation materials. Flexible fiber reinforced aerogel composites were developed during the Phase I effort and were shown to be a feasible solution for protecting aircraft exhaust-washed structures. In Phase II, Aspen Aerogels will team with Northrop Grumman to optimize these materials and incorporate them into systems that can be easily attached to aircraft. The insulation system will be lightweight and result in reduced installation and maintenance costs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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