Low Cost Process for Divert Propulsion Thrusters
Small Business Information
Ceramic Composites, Inc.
1110 Benfield Blvd., Millersville, MD, 21108
AbstractDivert propulsion systems are relying on ceramic matrix composite (CMC) thrust chambers to provide the high performance capabilities required by BMDO defensive missiles. Although the high temperature and toughness properties of ceramic matrix composites (CMC) have made them leading candidates for the THAAD missile thruster and other advanced rocket propulsion systems, their low densities, poor erosion resistance and high fabrication costs have precluded their use in any production missile to date. An innovative rapid densification, chemical vapor infiltration (CVI) method is proposed as a breakthrough technology for fabricating dense, erosion resistant CMC rocket thrusters at costs far below current processes. A systematic plan for demonstrating that a C/SiC CMC can be processed to densities of 90% or greater in 1/10 the time it takes for conventional CVI is outlined. High temperature biflexure and burst strength tests together with room temperature permeability and oxidation rate measurements and compositional-microstructural analyses will provide data for defining the optimum processing property protocols, and projecting performance-cost benefits for rocket thrusters in phase II and a host of other CMC applications in phase II and phase III.
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