Fabrication of Strong and Tough TaC-composites for Advanced Rocket Nozzles via a “Top-Down Process”

Period of Performance: 08/24/2006 - 02/24/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Ues, Inc.
4401 Dayton-Xenia Road Array
Dayton, OH 45432
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Dayton
300 College Park
Dayton, OH 45469
Institution POC


This Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I program seeks a new fabrication method to produce stronger (>100 kpsi) and tougher (>10 MPa ©m) TaC-based composites for use as zero-eroding rocket nozzle throat components for high performance, reduced-cost boost propulsion systems. UES will apply a novel "Top-Down Process" to control the microstructures of the composites. This approach will produce a very unique grain structure that can offer high strength as well as fracture toughness. Thus, a high thermal shock resistant material is anticipated. Hot-pressing will be used as the means for densification during the Phase I feasibility study. In the Phase II study, a sinter/HIP process will be developed for near-net shape fabrication. During Phase I, UES will collaborate with the University of Dayton Research Institute to conduct hot-pressing, mechanical evaluations, and microstructural characterization. UES will process the powders and also evaluate the high temperature properties.