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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Affordable Resins for High-Performance, Ablative Thermal Protection Systems, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Cornerstone Research Group Inc. (CRG) proposes to advance fundamental material development of a high-temperature resistant, multifunctional polymer system conceived and demonstrated previously by CRG, which will provide NASA with an innovative, low-cost material for thermal protection systems. The proposed material technology results in a polymer system that transitions from a thermoplastic at temperatures below 230F, to a thermoset at temperatures above 230F, and finally to a graphite-like material at higher temperatures. CRG has demonstrated the concept and feasibility of this material, trademarked as Metagraphite, during a previous research effort. In that effort, CRG confirmed that bulk thermo-mechanical, thermal, and electrical properties of the polymer could be altered through the application of varying amounts of heat. The described polymer can be combined with fabric reinforcement to create a system that presents NASA with the potential for low-cost, adaptive structural materials with properties ranging from those of thermoplastics to carbon matrix composites. Such materials would find wide use in thermal protection systems and high-temperature components for launch propulsion system rocket nozzles. The extremely low-cost raw materials and the range of material properties available will enable innovative processing methods and reduced component manufacturing costs when compared with state-of-the-art materials. More »

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