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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, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Leveraging a rapidly evolving state-of-the-art technical base empowered by Phase I NASA SBIR funding, NanoSonic's polymer derived rare earth silicate EBCs will provide a paradigm breaking advancement for NTPs by extending the operational utility of NTP rocket thrust chambers and nozzles. Unlike competing deposition technologies severely limited by substrate size and dimensions, NanoSonic's rare earth silicate coatings may be spray deposited under ambient conditions onto large area complex substrates and converted to mechanically robust, thermally insulative EBCs on a production basis. In fact, legacy spray equipment employed for hardcoat deposition within the marine, automotive and aerospace industries has been used for successful EBC deposition. Simulated NTP testing completed by the University of Washington on coated Inconel 625 substrates indicate five candidate EBCs have exceptional environmental, dimensional, and adhesive durability within flow conditions representative of NTP rocket engines. In fact, zero spallation, erosion, or any other form of coating degradation was observed at the thermal limit of testing of 1,950 C. All candidate resins may be transitioned to 200-gallon batch production quantities within an established manufacturing infrastructure.

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