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Center Innovation Fund: ARC CIF

Shaped and Seamless Thermal Protection System, Year 2

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Shaped and Seamless Thermal Protection System, Year 2

This proposal is to fabricate customized geometric shapes using knitting technology and infiltrating refractory fibers either in-situ or before attachment to the vehicle substructure. These materials will be flexible and exhibit smooth, form-fitting behavior. Using our experience in the design of TPS, we will identify and assess the knitted architectures (patterns) and material combinations that are the most suitable to TPS applications, and evaluate the advantages of those systems over conventional solutions. Refractory fibers/yarns are knitted into complex shapes which can be impregnated with phenolic/silicone additives before use in TPS or fitted onto an aeroshell part and infiltrated in-situ. Backshell TPS areas with complex shapes, seams and joints could be protected by a one-piece knitted TPS component that would conform to the substructure and eliminate most joints. Deliverables: Demonstrate fabrication of thick knitted parts; produce complex shaped samples; infiltrated knitted part suitable for arc-jet testing

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Anticipated Benefits

Primary U.S. Work Locations and Key Partners

Technology Transitions

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