Ultra High Temperature Hafnium-based Materials for Propulsion Technologies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: HQ0147-11-C-7583
Agency Tracking Number: B103-019-0024
Amount: $100,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2011
Solicitation Year: 2010
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA10-019
Solicitation Number: 2010.3
Small Business Information
4914 Moores Mill Road, Huntsville, AL, 35811-1558
DUNS: 799114574
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Daniel Butts
 Materials Engineer / PI
 (256) 851-7653
Business Contact
 Timothy McKechnie
Title: President / Sr Materials Engineer
Phone: (256) 851-7653
Email: timmck@plasmapros.com
Research Institution
Rhenium is the current material of choice for several critical hot gas path components of Divert and Attitude Control Systems (DACS) due to its erosion resistance, high-temperature strength and compatibility with propellant products. However, disadvantages of Re include high cost and high density. Alternatives to Re such as composites, refractory metal alloys, and monolithic ceramics have been proposed, but all possess strength, oxidation and/or cost limitations. Thus, the development of economical, reduced mass alternatives to Re for employment in oxidizing and rapid heating to temperatures above 2200 degrees C (4000 degrees F) remains a great interest. Cermets based on the Hf-Ta-N systems have been suggested, though few investigations of these materials have been conducted. Moreover, investigations that have been conducted were focused on uneconomical solid-state hot-pressing techniques. Plasma Processes proposes to employ vacuum plasma spray (VPS) technology in the exploration of cermets for DACS applications. The Phase I technical objective is to evaluate the microstructures and oxidation behavior of Hf-Ta-N cermets. Specifically, fabricated components will be characterized to identify microstructure, phase content and phase distribution. Micro-indent testing will be performed to pseudo-quantify the relative fracture toughness. Oxidation testing will be conducted to evaluate oxidation behavior. This proposed material development effort will be directly beneficial to upgrades for SM-3 and THAAD, as well as for new systems such Net-Centric Air Defense Element (NCADE).

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

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