Advanced, Reinforced-NZP Composites for Ballistic Missile Components & Structures

Period of Performance: 06/23/2006 - 06/30/2008


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Smaht Ceramics, Inc.
181 W. 1700 S.
Salt Lake City, UT 84115
Principal Investigator


Components used in missile propulsion and control systems such as Throttling Divert and Attitude Control Systems (TDACS) are susceptible to damage and degradation under the harsh operating conditions. Notwithstanding such conditions, a monolithic variant of the NZP ceramic has been successfully utilized by Aerojet for TDACS components in MDA s GMD and SM3 missiles. For more advanced solid TDACS solutions and for multiple missile defense applications SM-3, MKV and KEI, Aerojet has identified low subsystem weight as the primary design objective. A stronger and tougher (reinforced) version of the monolithic NZP would fit the bill of requirements for the above missile applications. SMAHT Ceramics, therefore, proposes to build up on its Phase I successes to further develop and commercialize the innovative fiber-reinforced NZP composites technology for advanced missile defense and aerospace applications. Phase I development of reinforced-NZP composites has already demonstrated significantly improved mechanical attributes as compared to unreinforced NZP, especially at higher temperatures. The primary goal for Phase II is to successfully complete technological development and optimization as it applies to requirements for Aerojet s TDACS and ACS missile components. SMAHT has put together a strong team of collaborators, which include Aerojet, MR&D, and ICT, to accomplish this goal.