NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 04.04-2616

PROJECT TITLE: Development of ZrC/Cf Composites for Low-Cost, Lightweight Engine Components

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

The goal of this program is to develop a low cost, flexible manufacturing method for the production of Cf reinforced composites to meet the performance objectives of future NASA aerospace propulsion systems. The matrix material selected for demonstration of the technology will be ZrC, a material with good oxidation and ablation resistance within the temperature range of 2200 to 3500°C. The program will focus on an innovative method for fabricating ZrC/Cf composites based on melt spinning of thermoplastic/ceramic powder blends. This process, called Continuous Composite Co-extrusion, incorporates Cf into the extrusion process in order to fabricate ‘in-situ’ ZrC/Cf composites. The fiber will impart the necessary thermal shock resistance and toughness that ZrC lacks as a monolithic ceramic. The process technique will be widely applicable to a large number on material systems such as TaC, HfB2, ZrB2, and HfN. Phase I success will allow future iterations to optimize the composition and fiber volume fraction of the composite for specific applications.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

The development of a low cost, high temperature, flaw-tolerant material will have far reaching implications in heat engine systems and other energy conservation systems. The material has potential applications in injectors, combustors, hot gas ducts, erosion throats, uncooled nozzles, exhaust flaps, propulsion engine bodies, radiant burners, as well as hot-section components for power generation systems.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. Mark Rigali
Advanced Ceramics Research
3292 E. Hemisphere Loop
Tucson , AZ 85706

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Advanced Ceramics Research
3292 E. Hemisphere Loop
Tucson , AZ 85706