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

$100K

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

Abstract

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.