NASA SBIR 2004 Solicitation

FORM B - PROPOSAL SUMMARY


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 04 X6.02-8085
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Vehicle Airframe Structures
PROPOSAL TITLE: Composites of Ti-Al Intermetallic Compounds With a Ductile Ti Matrix

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
MER Corp
7960 S. Kolb Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85706-9237
(520)574-1980

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
James Withers
jcwithers@mercorp.com
7960 S. Kolb Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85706-9237
(520)574-1980

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (LIMIT 200 WORDS)
Many properties of intermetallic compounds (IMC's) would make them strong candidates for vehicle structures, tankage, secondary structures, and appendages for NASA exploration systems. This includes excellent specific strength, creep, and oxidation resistance. However, the lack of ductility in these IMC's generally does not allow these materials to meet the design requirements for those vehicle structures. On the other hand, base alloys themselves, such as Ti-6Al-4V or Inconel, have sufficient ductility, but do not have the other desired attributes. Using a novel fabrication technique (plasma transferred arc solid free form fabrication, or PTA SFFF), MER will develop composite materials of IMC's with a strong, ductile base metal. These composite materials will have a combination of overall properties that cannot be obtained today in an IMC structure. The PTA SFFF process has the capability to scale up these composites to the large shapes required for vehicle structures.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
These composites will be useful for any NASA vehicle airframe structures that require a combination of light weight and high strength and ductility with good high temperature properties, including strength retention, creep resistance, and oxidation resistance. This includes vehicle structures, tankage, and secondary structures and appendages.


POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (LIMIT 100 WORDS)
These composite materials will fill a need for a variety of commercial components that require light weight and good high temperature properties. For example, replacement of superalloys for applications in the 500-8000C range with these composites would provide a dramatic reduction in weight. Specific examples include temperature resistant components of turbine engines, and commercial reusable launch vehicles and satellite launches.