NASA SBIR 00-II Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 03.06-8686 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 001315 )
PROPOSAL TITLE: High Specific Strength Isotropic MMCs for Turbomachinery Applications

Achieving the NASA goal to dramatically increase rocket powerhead capabilities is critically dependent on the development of high performance materials and affordable processing technologies. Turbopump housings are the single heaviest component in liquid fuel rocket engines, accounting for up to 25 percent of the engine weight. Composite materials with an adequate environmental resistance, and the affordable process to produce the large and complex components are the enabling path towards the high specific strength turbopump housings.

In the Phase I program, Foster-Miller developed innovative isotropic aluminum and copper alloy matrix composites to produce lightweight turbopump housings to satisfy the key rocket engines materials requirements: excellent mechanical properties within a relevant service temperature range, relatively low density, low cost and net shape fabrication. Foster-Miller demonstrated the feasibility of producing ceramic reinforced composites with Al and Cu matrixes using a Foster-Miller proprietary process - Net Shape Pressure Casting/Infiltration.

During Phase II, these materials concept and fabrication technique will be used to demonstrate their potential towards large and complex turbopump housing components fabrication. Materials composition will be optimized, properties repeatability will be confirmed, processing versatility and scalability will be demonstrated. Turbopump demonstration components will be fabricated and non-destructively characterized. (P010775)

The proprietary materials concept and fabrication process developed under this Phase II contract provides a low cost route to high specific strength, inexpensive, net shape Al and Cu-matrix alloy composite components. The primary application being investigated is rocket engine turbopump housings. This technology is an enabling one for Reusable Launch Vehicle rocket engines. Other rocket applications exist as lightweight alternative for nickel and ferrous superalloy components. Many applications also exist in gas turbine engines, diesel engines, automotive brake systems, and industrial equipment such as power generation, mining, and oil drilling.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR (Name, Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Uday Kashalikar
Foster-Miller, Inc.
350 Second Ave.
Waltham , MA   02451 - 1196

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)
Foster-Miller, Inc.
350 Second Ave.
Waltham , MA   02451 - 1196

Form Printed on 11-26-01 17:18