The proposed use of rapidly manufactured high temperature CMC hypersonic vehicle hot structure components can play a key role in achieving hypersonic vehicle manufacturability and cost goals as well as weight and performance objectives. Readily available materials that require little development time are critical. In addition to monolithic CMC structures such as nosetips, fins, leading edges, aerosurfaces, and propulsion flow path structures, the potential exists to combine the CMC with Ultramet's structural foam insulation to produce integrated airframe/TPS aeroshell structures. Ultramet CMCs, produced by a rapid, low-cost melt infiltration process, have demonstrated outstanding performance in multiple test series, including those performed under the Composites and Advanced Materials (CAM) and Hypersonic Flight Demonstration (HyFly) programs among others. Other potential aerospace applications include launch vehicle propulsion systems and aerobraking structures for planetary exploration.
Potential commercial applications include high temperature, low-mass insulating structures for heat cycle and gas turbine engines, scramjet and ramjet engine components, and furnace heat recovery units (recuperators).