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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Reduced Cost Composite Hot Structures with Oxidation Protection, Phase I

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Innovative, low cost high performance technologies are critical to the affordability of future space missions. Carbon/carbon (C/C) composites have significant advantages over metallic solutions. However, C/C composites are generally known to have high costs and protracted lead times. Recent efforts by ATK Aerospace Group and Plasma Processes have focused on increasing capability of 2D C/C, while reducing cost and lead-time. Optimization studies by ATK have reduced manufacturing schedule by up to 60% and improved mechanical performance. Plasma Processes has developed protective coatings for C/C deposited via additive manufacturing techniques that have performed well in flight tests. These recent advances can reduce the cost and inert mass of future hypersonic and launch vehicles. However, additional efforts are needed to optimize economical oxidative protective solutions for C/C. The objective of a proposed Phase I is to merge advancements in C/C composite manufacturing with additive manufacturing coating application techniques to yield economical hot structures for future hypersonic vehicles. More »

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