Novel Graded Composite Nozzles for THAAD Kill Vehicle (KV

Period of Performance: 05/01/2006 - 05/31/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Materials Modification, Inc.
2809-K Merrilee Drive Array
Fairfax, VA 22031
Principal Investigator


Divert and Attitude Control System (DACS) for the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Kill Vehicle (KV) demands improvement with respect to performance and cost, with its anticipated evolution towards exo-atmospheric altitudes and larger footprint. The KV DACS currently uses C-103 nozzle chamber with niobium silicides as the oxidation resistant coating. Materials Modification Inc (MMI) proposes significant improvement in cost and performance of the current nozzle systems by developing a graded composite nozzle chamber with nano-structurally enhanced oxidation and erosion resistance coating. In the Phase I effort, MMI demonstrated prototype graded composite nozzles (99% density) and performed oxidation resistance tests based on technical specification support from Donald Stevenson, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. In Phase II, MMI will optimize the hybrid spray process to achieve full density (~0% porosity) and superior performance. Comprehensive oxidation resistance and mechanical strength testing will provide feedback towards optimization of the process and materials to achieve graded composite nozzles that will meet the system specifications from Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne. After successful results from the Phase I, the proposed technology offers potential and promise towards achieving performance, cost and producibility advantages in Phase II.