Water-washout tooling for improved high- to very-high-temperature manufacturing of composite motor cases

Period of Performance: 01/01/2014 - 12/31/2014

$125K

Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nevada Composites, Inc.
PO Box 2174 Array
Dayton, NV 89403
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Nevada Composites has developed Green-AeroSM tooling?lightweight ceramic tooling that is stable under high pressure and long-duration cure cycles and can be washed out with water after cures. Tools have a composite-compatible Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (CTE), provide tight tolerances, are free-standing, and are of affordable cost. For BMDS applications Green-AeroSM offers both improved performance and cost improvements estimated at about 25% over sand mandrels. With development, it will offer enabling technology?the most affordable solution for high temperatures and the only solution for very-high-temperature washout mandrels. For the upper stage rocket motor of a land-based Aegis missile it will permit higher-temperature designs offering weight reductions in both internal insulation and external thermal protection?without tooling redesign and at reduced cost. It will also be applicable to other BMDS boosters. Our current process, however, has not been adapted to the particular requirements of BMDS propulsion systems. It is shop-scale and touch-labor intensive. The goal in Phase I is to advance the current TRL of 3 for BMDS applications to 4-5 in Phase I, and to a TRL of 6-7 in Phase II, when it will be transferred to propulsion contractors. Approved for Public Release 14-MDA-8047 (14 Nov 14)