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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Polymer Derived Rare Earth Silicate Nanocomposite Protective Coatings for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Polymer Derived Rare Earth Silicate  Nanocomposite Protective Coatings for Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Systems
The objective of this Phase I SBIR program is to develop polymer derived rare earth silicate nanocomposite environmental barrier coatings (EBC) for providing next-generation corrosion resistance and thermal insulation to Aerojet's Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) systems. The NTP environmental barrier coatings will be developed from NanoSonic's innovate inorganic polymeric nanocomposite resins that crosslink to dimensionally stable gels under ambient conditions and gracefully transition to high temperature corrosion and thermally insulative resistant coatings at elevated temperatures. Through a synergism of nanoparticle – rare earth silicate load transfer pathways, NanoSonic's proposed EBC topcoat technology will readily absorb and dissipate high velocity impact threats while providing exceptional thermal shock resistance necessary for enhanced survivability of nickel-chromium based alloys within current and future NTP rocket engine rocket thrust chambers and nozzles. Working with team members Aerojet and the University of Washington, NanoSonic will molecularly engineer a family of rare earth silicate polymeric precursors that are specifically optimized for rocket engines within Aerojet's NTP space technology program. For the proposed effort, NanoSonic, the University of Washington and Aerojet have created an SBIR research team to rapidly identify, optimize and transition next-generation polymer derived rare earth silicate coatings specifically optimized to extend the operational utility of NTP rocket thrust chambers and nozzles. Within this teaming partnership, NanoSonic will continuously synthesize and optimize rare earth polymeric precursor coatings whereas the University of Washington will test coated nickel-chromium based alloys within flow conditions simulating NTP rocket exhaust. ANSYS thermal modeling will be employed to interpret and jointly optimize promising rare earth silicate coatings with Aerojet. More »

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