High Temperature Resistant Zirconia Coating for In-space Propulsion

Award Information
Agency: National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Branch: N/A
Contract: NNX11CE42P
Agency Tracking Number: 104276
Amount: $99,575.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solitcitation Year: 2010
Solitcitation Topic Code: X2.02
Solitcitation Number: N/A
Small Business Information
Spire Corporation
One Patriots Park, Bedford, MA, -
Duns: 065137978
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Kelsey Carvell
 Principal Investigator
 (781) 275-6000
 kcarvell@spirecorp.com
Business Contact
 Mark Little
Title: CEO, Spire Biomedical, Inc.
Phone: (781) 275-6000
Email: ssullivan@spirecorp.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
To enhance NASA systems, Spire proposes a novel technique for growing a graded nanocrystalline ZrON/ZrO2 protective coating with superior heat tolerance on relevant in-space substrates. The proposed coating technology will adhere to and protect engine components such as injectors, combustion chambers, nozzles, and nozzle extenders. Conventional high temperature coatings applied by chemical vapor deposition inadequately adhere, and often spall. The proposed coating will distribute stress induced by thermal cycling and improve adhesion, resulting in an improved and longer lasting coating. The high temperature phase of ZrO2 is produced by controlling nucleation, grain growth, and grain size via the unique features of our deposition technique. The increased surface energy of the nanograins results in the formation of a dense cubic phase of zirconia, which is stable at very high temperature.Phase I will develop a base-line process for applying highly adherent, thermally-resistant cubic ZrO2 layers on in-space propulsion substrates with a functionally graded ZrON metalloceramic transition layer at the metal interface. The deposition guidelines for nanocrystalline ZrON/ZrO2 coating will be perfected to each unique substrate in Phase II. In addition, a number of metallic components will be coated and delivered to NASA to be evaluated for in-space propulsion use.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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