Nanomaterial Reinforcement for High Strength Solid Rocket Motor (SRM) Case Materials

Period of Performance: 04/23/2004 - 01/24/2005


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road Array
Austin, TX 78733
Principal Investigator


Recent progress in the field of nanoreinforcements has the potential to advance composite properties to a level of performance that will be required for aerospace and missile initiatives such as The Air Force's Operationally Responsive Spacelift (ORS) effort and the Falcon Program (Force Application and Launch from CONtinental United States). Novel filament winding matrix resins are therefore proposed to overcome the current limitations. TRI/Austin will develop a new class of nanoreinforced hybrid resins that will offer the desired combination of high strength and glass transition. In addition, a mechanism will be investigated whereby a thermal barrier skin effect will protect the composite from extreme temperatures. This may be relevant in terms of eliminating the secondary thermal barrier coating that is sometimes necessary on rocket motor casings. TRI/Austin's team for the Phase I effort will include experts in the field of rocket motor filament winding technologies. These experts include personnel from a prominent rocket motor manufacturer that has been in business for over 50 years and has extensive experience in solid propellant rocket and gas generator development and production. Processing and performance requirements will be identified to ensure that the developed matrix resins comply with the end-use and manufacturing requirements.