Reduced Cost TaC-based Rocket Nozzle for Solid Boost Motors

Period of Performance: 01/26/2008 - 08/14/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Plasma Processes, Inc.
4914 Moores Mill Road
Huntsville, AL 35811
Principal Investigator


Missile defense interceptors will provide our nation with the capability of defeating threats to our homeland and our deployed troops. However, the fielding of these advanced interceptors is strongly dependent upon technologies that enable production of high performance, low cost interceptor components. Advanced missile defense interceptors require extremely high thrust axial motors to engage hostile targets in their boost phase. The nozzles must survive high thermal stresses with minimal erosion to maintain high kill velocities. Plasma Processes, Inc. has demonstrated the ability to produce high quality vacuum plasma sprayed TaC-based materials. However, merging quality material and low cost fabrication techniques with innovative nozzle designs is greatly needed. In a Phase I effort, Plasma Processes, Inc., with support from Lockheed Martin, proposes to demonstrate the fabrication of non-eroding nozzle throats using an innovative design employing Tantalum Carbide based materials. This employment of novel materials, innovative nozzle design and low cost fabrication techniques can ultimately lead to improved performance and reduced costs for advanced missile defense interceptors.