Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Ceramic Matrix Composites for DACS Thrust Chambers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Missile Defense Agency
Contract: W9113M-05-C-0073
Agency Tracking Number: 044-1065
Amount: $99,830.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2005
Solicitation Year: 2004
Solicitation Topic Code: MDA04-117
Solicitation Number: 2004.4
Small Business Information
141 W. Xenia Ave., PO Box 579, Cedarville, OH, 45314
DUNS: 173666215
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Ronald Jacobsen
 Principal Investigator
 (937) 766-2020
 rljacobsen@apsci.com
Business Contact
 Max Lake
Title: President / CEO
Phone: (937) 766-2020
Email: mllake@apsci.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
DACS thrust chambers for the THAAD kill vehicle are currently made out of niobium, which is heavy, difficult to machine, and expensive to produce. Previously, a lightweight ceramic composite was used, but this material was brittle and even more expensive than the metal solution. In this program, Applied Sciences, Inc. will produce a nano-reinforced ceramic matrix composite which will have enhanced thermal and mechanical performance, decrease weight and decreased cost over current materials. Our solution is expected to be at least ½ the cost and easier to produce than current alternatives; it will have a heat limit of 5000 deg F; it will be close to 5x lighter and have 5x the specific strength of current materials; and, our nanofiber-reinforced solution will provide greater crack and shock resistance over previous ceramic alternatives. Our approach combines carbon nanofibers with preceramic polymers to create a near net-shape preform that can be pyrolyzed by microwave processing to form the DACS component. This consolidation process facilitates easy integration with metal (i.e., titanium) attachments, which will further reduce manufacturing time and expense. We will work with our Phase I team members, including Boeing Rocketdyne, to successfully integrate this innovative solution into the THAAD program.

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

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