NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-A4.03-8040 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034967)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Lightweight Propulsion Components
PROPOSAL TITLE:Actively Cooled Ceramic Composite Nozzle Material

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
THOR TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
2415 Princeton NE, Suite B
Albuquerque ,NM 87107 - 1731
(505) 830 - 6986

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Stuart   Schwab
stschwab@thortech.biz
2415 Princeton NE, Suite B
Albuquerque ,NM  87107 -1731
(505) 830 - 6986
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
For Next Generation Launch Vehicles (NGLV), Either a Rocket-based or Turbine-based Combined Cycle (RBCC or TBCC) engine will power the Next Generation Launch Vehicle (NGLV). Both TBCC and RBCC engines include operation as a scramjet. The RBCC and TBCC environments are exceedingly hostile, and actively cooled components are likely to play critical roles in both engines. The development of actively cooled fiber-reinforced ceramic (FRC) composites for combined cycle engines has the potential to increase performance and reduce component cost by replacing exotic metals, such as rhenium. Unfortunately, effective methods of processing FRCs are lacking, and active cooling strategies cumbersome. In addition, reliable methods of inspecting FRC components after manufacture and following assembly are needed. Thor Technologies, Inc. will team with Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and and engine company to validate an innovative process that produces novel hybrid metal/FRC composite materials suitable for use in combined cycle engines, with the goal of developing an actively cooled FRC nozzle. In addition, Thor Technologies will work with another small business to refine non-destructive evaluation (NDE) methods with the potential for assuring the quality of hybrid metal/FRC composites as manufactured and following assembly.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The proposed hybrid metal/ceramic matrix ceramic composites have the potential to serve in a range of applications that require active cooling. The flow path of both the RBCC and TBCC propulsion systems under development through NGLV have a number of components that could potentially be made lighter and more durable if constructed of these materials. Thermal protection structures and aeroassist structures are other potential applications.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 150 WORDS)
The process can be used to produce a wide range of ceramics and ceramic composites for which substantial civilian markets exist. Fiber-reinforced ceramics are low-density materials that provide strength at high temperature and/or under corrosive conditions, and will displace metals in a range of applications, both civilian and military. In the civilian arena, potential applications range from non-corrosive vessels for petrochemical processing and waste incineration to lightweight, high temperature components for turbine engines.