NASA SBIR 2011 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 11-1 X2.01-8532
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Low Cost Heavy Lift Propulsion
PROPOSAL TITLE: Alternative Fabrication Designs for Carbon-Carbon (C-C) Nozzle Extensions

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Materials Research and Design
300 East Swedesford Road
Wayne, PA 19087 - 1858
(610) 964-9000

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Tiffany A Boarts
300 East Swedesford Road
Wayne, PA 19087 - 1858
(610) 964-9000 Extension :114

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 2
End: 4

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In order for carbon-carbon nozzle extensions and exit cones to serve as practical, low cost components for future Earth-to-Orbit propulsion systems, it is necessary to develop alternative fabrication methods coupled with proven design and analysis tools. Two-dimensional (2D) C-C components are typically less expensive and potentially lower weight than C-C parts fabricated using 3D woven preforms. One typical 2D C-C fabrication method uses a tape-wrapping technique in which a bias-ply C/Ph tape is wrapped over a mandrel, cured, carbonized, and graphitized to form a carbon-carbon part. Tape-wrapping has been applied successfully to the development of erosion-resistant carbon-carbon exit cones. An alternative fabrication technique is to replace the flat 2D lay-ups with an involute construction. The involute plies spiral from the inner to outer diameter of the carbon-carbon part providing through-thickness reinforcement to reduce the potential for delaminations. In addition, each ply extends from the forward to the aft end of the part, increasing its axial strength considerably.

The overall objective of this program is to design and demonstrate an alternative fabrication technique of nozzle extensions and exit cones on Earth-to-Orbit (ETO) propulsion systems. The Phase I program will be performed by a team of MR&D and ATK Aerospace Systems. The MR&D team is uniquely suited to perform the proposed effort because of previous experience on developing alternative fabrication methods of high-temperature C-C components such as exit cones and aeroshells. MR&D will manage the program, develop the processing and operational models, and design the C-C subcomponents to be fabricated. ATK Aerospace Systems will provide guidance and information as well as fabricate the C-C subcomponents.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
The Phase I program will lead to improved C-C nozzle extension components for ETO propulsion systems via alternate fabrication methods coupled with proven design and analysis tools. The models developed here will allow various material candidates and involute configurations to be auditioned prior to fabrication and testing, reducing the cost of developing these higher-performance materials considerably.

The technology developed here will also have a direct impact on the design and manufacturing of alternative C-C fabrication methods, and metal-to-composite nozzle joints for all future propulsion system designs by offering a domestically available alternative to the non-domestic state-of-the-art, such as the nozzle extension designed for RL 10B-2. Benefits include increased performance, and weight and cost savings, together with a larger supplier base for the fabrication of refractory composite nozzles and nozzle extensions for future heavy-lift launch propulsion systems.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
MR&D's core business is to provide design services to the aerospace materials community, so the methods developed here can be used to support other SBIR awardees, or transferred to other propulsion system designers. MR&D is involved in the development of C-C materials on several programs which will serve to establish standardized methods for the design and analysis of propulsion materials and structures for years to come.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
Analytical Methods
Launch Engine/Booster
Models & Simulations (see also Testing & Evaluation)
Nondestructive Evaluation (NDE; NDT)
Processing Methods
Simulation & Modeling
Software Tools (Analysis, Design)
Spacecraft Main Engine

Form Generated on 11-22-11 13:43