Future Technology for Aerospace Structures Technology

Period of Performance: 07/02/2004 - 07/02/2006

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

FMW Composite Systems, Inc.
1200 W. Benedum Industrial Drive
Bridgeport, WV 26330
Principal Investigator

Abstract

The continued development of hypersonic vehicles and high performance space access vehicles has highlighted the importance of light-weight, load-bearing structures capable of prolonged exposure at elevated temperatures. The optimal solution to this problem would be a hot primary structure capable of supporting the required loads at elevated temperature while also providing the necessary thermal protection to the primary vehicle structure. Experimental results from the NASP program indicated that titanium matrix composites (TMCs) possessed the necessary thermomechanical properties for this application. However, the processing methods at that time suffered from both prohibitive costs and reliability problems. During the latter half of the 1990's, FMW developed a low-cost, powder-based processing method for producing high-quality TMC components. During the Phase I SBIR, FMW successfully brazed TMC face sheets to a titanium honeycomb, thereby demonstrating the potential of these materials for use as hot primary structures. In the program described herein, FMW, in conjunction with Boeing, proposes the fabrication and testing of a full-scale control surface selected from the current generation of hypersonic air vehicles.