Affordable Hybrid Composites for Next Generation Gun Systems

Period of Performance: 01/22/2002 - 01/21/2004


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Triton Systems, Inc.
200 Turnpike Road Array
Chelmsford, MA 01824
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of California, Santa Barbara
Office of Research
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Institution POC


Triton Systems, Inc. and the University of California, Santa Barbara are developing a low-cost, hybrid composite technology which combines the high temperature corrosion resistance of ceramic matrix composite surfaces with the high strength, high thermal conductivity, machinability and weldability of a metal matrix composite. These highly integrated metal-ceramic matrix composite (MCMCS) structures can be fabricated in a range of component geometries, placing the CMC surfaces in any desired location. For example, MCMCS gun barrels will be developed possessing a CMC inner bore surface which is structurally supported by a high strength MMC. These hybrid composite barrels will withstand the extreme temperatures, pressures, and chemical environments created by the advanced gun propellants which are exceeding the capabilities of current metal gun systems. By tailoring density/composition gradients through the wall thickness, the MCMCS will possess a functionally graded metal-ceramic interface that controls thermal stresses and through-barrel thermal conductivity both at the micro- and macro-scales. We will develop a material properties database from which an adequate constitutive description of the material can be formulated. This work will be closely coupled with the development of the computational design and analysis tools capable of predicting the behavior of specific MCMCS components. Anticipated Benefits: The primary near term defense application is light weight, high performance gun tubes for medium and large bore applications. In different configurations the MCMCS will be used for missile air frame and propulsion components. The low cost technology has direct application as high and low temperature corrosion resistance components for industrial applications, e.g. fluid transfer pipes for the chemical industry, and wetted components in vacuum systems and waste management equipment.