Carbon based aerogel composites for radiation shielding
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
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Small Business Information
Advanced Ceramics Research, Inc.
3932 E Hemisphere Loop, Tucson, AZ, 85706
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractIn this phase I SBIR program, Advanced Ceramics Research, Inc. (ACR) proposes the development of an innovative, co-curing fabrication process for composite structures with a carbon based aerogel material encapsulated by a polyethylene based composite for radiation shielding applications. The proposed technique will leverage the ACR?s experience with co-injecting highly viscous ceramic slurries into fibrous preforms. The carbon based aerogel material will be fabricated into a panel and encapsulated by polyethylene using a elevated temperature RTM technique currently used to fabricate fiber reinforced multi-resin systems. The feasibility of the approach will be demonstrated using a carbon fiber reinforced aerogel encapsulated with fiber-reinforced polyethylene. The advantage is that the radiation shielding panels will also act as a thermally insulating material and therefore, will be a multifunctional material. Co-injection will permit the fabrication of multi-layer structures that do not have to be individually laminated; hence, it is possible to fabricate high performance radiation shielding panels that would be impossible to build using conventional methods. Additionally, the fabrication process is flexible to allow the use of optimal and hybrid fiber tows and architectures necessitated by the component design requirements.
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