NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation


SUBTOPIC TITLE:Thermal Materials and Management
PROPOSAL TITLE:Advanced Thermal Protection Systems (ATPS), Aerospace Grade Carbon Bonded Carbon Fiber Material

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Fiber Materials, Inc.
5 Morin St
Biddeford ,ME 04005 - 4497
(207) 282 - 5911

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
David   Roberts
5 Morin St
Biddeford, ME  04005 -4497
(207) 282 - 5911

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
Carbon bonded carbon fiber (CBCF) insulating material is the basis for several highly successful NASA developed thermal protection systems (TPS). Included among these innovative TPS are: PICA, (phenolic impregnated carbonaceous ablator), TUFROC (Toughened Uni-piece Fibrous Reinforced Oxidation-resistant Composite) and Genesis. PICA is currently employed on the Stardust Discovery Mission and also under consideration for CEV. NASA-Ames has a patent pending concerning TUFROC and the technology is planned for transfer to Boeing for fabrication of the X-37 leading edge.
CBCF utilized in the above mentioned TPS systems is an attractive substrate material because of its low density and high porosity, superior thermal performance, and compatibility with other components. In addition, it is low cost because of the commercial market it also serves. However, the current CBCF manufacturing process does not produce materials engineered to the specifications NASA desires to put in place. These emerging and highly innovative TPS designs require material manufactured to specification. This Phase II program will demonstrate advanced processes and manufacturing approaches to consistently fabricate CBCF that meets desired technical specifications. The benefits derived include significantly improved flexibility for the TPS design engineer, as well as, more cost efficient CBCF derived TPS fabrication.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Carbon bonded carbon fiber material (CBCF) is an effective preform material utilized in the manufacture of several advanced TPS systems. The Stardust (PICA) and Genesis (LMMS Genesis Concept) discovery missions have utilized FiberFormREG CBCF for their respective earth entry fore body TPS systems. TUFROC, in addition to supporting the Boeing X-37 leading edge design, has been down-selected in the preliminary concept design for the aero capture mission Titan.

The immediate benefit of this Phase II SBIR Program will be the availability of an aerospace grade of CBCF for use as TPS preform material. It will develop CBCF material meeting processing methods and quality assurance procedures to support current and emerging NASA TPS programs over their lifetime.
NASA is investing in advanced technologies to empower the Vision for Space Exploration. TUFROC TPS development is a promising step in that direction.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
Non-NASA commercial applications are critical to sustaining FiberFormREG production as the demand for aerospace grade product is projected to be a small component of annual production. However, experience gained during the course of this program will result in a better CBCF commercial product, increasing the material's competitiveness in the marketplace and long term viability.
The primary commercial application of CBCF is furnace insulation for high temperature (5000oF capability) inert or vacuum furnaces. In addition to being cast as boards, monolithic cylinders up to 34 inches finished outside diameter by 20 inches high are currently fabricated. Yearly production is greater than 1000 combined total pieces. A sales and marketing force for both commercial and aerospace sales is in place.

Form Printed on 08-01-05 13:52