Lightweight Composite/Hybrid Structures with Enhanced Properties

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Materials Research & Design
300 E. Swedesford Rd, Wayne, PA, 19087-
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Craig Iwano
Research Engineer
(610) 964-9000
Business Contact:
Brian Sullivan
(610) 964-6131
Research Institution:
Missouri University of Science and
Nicholas L Ph.D.
1522 Timbercreek Rd. No. 4
Rolla, MO, 65401-
(573) 680-9569
Nonprofit college or university
ABSTRACT: Future hypersonic vehicles, like X-43 and X-51 derivatives and Falcon HTV-3, will require advanced strategies for thermal protection systems (TPS) and methods of structural integration. The goal in designing TPS for these types of high performance applications is to establish multi-mission reusable systems with reduced weight and increased performance that possess multifunctionality, e.g. both thermal protection and structural capability. Within the proposed Phase I effort, MR & D will perform a design and analysis trade study to develop an innovative highly-porous core for a structurally integrated TPS. X-aerogels will be used as the starting point for this innovative core, leading to a material with a very high level of porosity and good strength characteristics. Dr. Nicholas Leventis from the Missouri University of Science & Technology (MS & T), co-inventor of x-aerogels, will assist MR & D in the development of this innovative core material. Also within the Phase I effort, MS & T will fabricate test specimens of each individual layer for material property testing at Southern Research Institute (SRI) of Birmingham, AL. BENEFIT: The thermal protection system (TPS) is an important part of any hypersonic vehicle. The Air Force has recently made significant investments in the technology of structurally integrated TPS. Nevertheless, there is still much work to be done in optimizing materials and component designs for load bearing TPS. Load bearing TPS will significantly reduce the overall weight of a vehicle by no longer"moving out of the way and going along for the ride", but rather helping to carry the structural loads of the vehicle. TPS designs, primarily those associated with acreage TPS panels, will be the primary beneficiary of the proposed program. The success of this program will directly support the design of existing and future hypersonic vehicles.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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