Low Cost Flexible Method of Manufacturing Scramjet Engine Panels

Period of Performance: 05/14/2002 - 02/14/2003

$99.1K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Ormond, LLC
4718 B Street Northwest, Suite 104
Auburn, WA 98001
Principal Investigator

Abstract

This Phase I program will result in the availability of a reduced cost interim SCRAMJET engine panel manufacturing method to support current test/demonstration engine manufacturing phases of the HyTECH (Hypersonic Technology) Program. It will increase engine design options, provide a demonstration of the technical and economic feasibility, and lay the groundwork for implementing a needed new and novel manufacturing process to support future production engine orders. It is anticipated that the successful completion of the proposed Phase I and Phase II programs will result in a 90% panel production cost reduction from the current $76,000 per engine set. Ormond, LLC utilizes novel experimental abrasive waterjet tooling and processes to manufacture SCRAMJET ground demonstration engine cases with integral heat exchanger grooves. The proposed program addresses the advancement of the technology to make it feasible for economical machining of SCRAMJET panels. Although Ormond is currently capable of manufacturing acceptable engine case components in the laboratory, additional development work is required to advance current capabilities to derive a reliable, low cost manufacturing method and to increase the engineering design options that are available to advance the SCRAMJET engine technology in general. It is anticipated that the successful completion of the proposed Phase I and Phase II programs will result in a 90% panel production cost reduction from the current $76,000 per engine set. Commercialization success is a high probability due to current support from the Pratt & Whitney Propulsion Group. The currently available manufacturing methods are economically and technically limited to the point of destroying the feasibility of the SCRAMJET concept. The proposed technology overcomes these limitations. A second aerospace application that has been successfully demonstrated using the technology is the machining of Channel Wall Combustors in commercial and defense rocket engines. Next generation Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) technology requires a cost effective method of machining a complex pattern of grooves in combustor liners. This application is a good fit for the ABMACH technology developed in the proposed program, but requires different adaptations of the tooling and process concepts. The development of ABMACH SCRAMJET and channel wall combustor machining technology adaptations in parallel is an excellent example of technology cross-cutting, where although each application has discrete requirements, the individual development of each supports the other. This is a dual use technology that will be commercialized in commercial and defense industries to support PEM fuel cell, heat exchanger and many others that depend on the availability of an economic method of creating grooves in difficult to machine materials.