NASA 1998 SBIR Phase I


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 98-1 19.02-5058B

PROJECT TITLE: Synthesis of Ultra-High Temperature Resistant Zirconium and Hafnium Carbide Aerogels

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)

Aspen Systems proposes to develop new Ultra-High Temperature Resistant Aerogels that will withstand temperatures as high as 2300 K for long periods of time. The new insulation will be based Hafnium and Zirconium carbides. Refractory hafnium and zirconium carbides are known as a good candidates for ultra High Temperature Structural Application, because they have melting temperatures considerably higher than their associated oxides and have relatively good thermal shock resistance. These refractories materials are obtained at high reaction temperatures using carbide powders. Aspen Systems will use its expertise in aerogel manufacturing, as well as the extensive knowledge of its chemists in sol-gel science, to develop a low-temperature process for the production of refractory carbide aerogels. The proposed insulations will provide the materials needed for the thermal protection systems (TPS) of reusable launch and hypersonic vehicles. For Phase I, we will synthesize the refractory aerogel materials and characterize them to prove the validity of the concept. During Phase II, we will optimize the synthesis and supercritical drying parameters to further improve the properties of the materials. Actual TPS concepts will be designed and tested to qualify the concept for flight missions.

POTENTIAL COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS

High-temperature, durable and highly efficient insulation will find a large number of commercial applications ranging from the aerospace industry, lasers, high energy physics, power generation, and specialty products for the military . he proposed materials will also find numerous applications in high-temperature furnaces and incinerators.

NAME AND ADDRESS OF PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

Dr. Redouane Begag
Aspen Systems, Inc.
184 Cedar Hill Street
Marlborough , MA 01752

NAME AND ADDRESS OF OFFEROR

Aspen Systems, Inc.
184 Cedar Hill Street
Marlborough , MA 01752