Carbon Nanofiber Reinforced Ceramic Matrix Composites for DACS Thrust Chambers
Small Business Information
APPLIED SCIENCES, INC.
141 W. Xenia Ave., PO Box 579, Cedarville, OH, 45314
President / CEO
President / CEO
AbstractDACS 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.
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