NASA STTR 2018-I Solicitation

Proposal Summary

 18-1- T9.01-9992
 Lander Systems Technology
 Additive Manufacture of Refractory Metal Propulsion Components
Name:   Geoplasma, LLC
Name:   North Carolina State University at Raleigh
Street:  6703 Odyssey Drive Northwest, Suite 304
Street:  2701 Sullivan Drive
City:   Huntsville
City:   Raleigh
State/Zip:  AL  35806-
State/Zip:   NC 27695 - 7514
Phone:  (256) 489-4748
Phone:   (919) 515-2444

Principal Investigator (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. John Scott O'Dell
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653

Business Official (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Mr. Timothy McKechnie
4914 Moores Mill Road Huntsville, AL 35811 - 1558
(256) 851-7653
Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) :
Begin: 1
End: 3
Technical Abstract

Niobium alloy (C-103) reaction control system (RCS) chambers have been used on numerous NASA programs.  However at elevated temperatures, the strength of C-103 decreases significantly.  Higher strength niobium alloys have been developed, but these alloys lack the formability of C-103.   Recently, Additive Manufacture (AM) of niobium and C-103 has been demonstrated using powder bed electron beam melting (EBM).  A primary advantage of AM processing is its ability to produce complex components to net shape along with the incorporation of unique features.  However, EBM-AM processing of niobium and C-103 results in elongated, columnar grains, which reduce mechanical properties as compared to a cold worked material.  Therefore, the potential exists to develop and fabricate a higher strength niobium alloy by taking advantage of the net-shape forming capability of AM processing and circumvent the lack of formability of such high strength alloys.  To demonstrate the feasibility of EBM-AM processing high strength niobium alloys, a parameters-characterization-properties study will be conducted during Phase I.  During Phase II, the EBM-AM processing of high strength niobium alloys will be optimized and extensive materials properties testing will be conducted.  The most promising results will then be used to produce a high strength niobium alloy RCS chamber.

Potential NASA Applications

Targeted NASA applications include in-space propulsion components for apogee insertion, attitude control, orbit maintenance, repositioning of satellites/spacecraft, reaction control systems, and descent/ascent engines, nuclear power/propulsion, microgravity containment crucibles and cartridges. 

Potential Non-NASA Applications

Commercial sectors that will benefit from this technology include medical, power generation, electronics, defense, aerospace, chemicals, and corrosion protection.  Targeted commercial applications include net-shape fabrication of refractory metals for rocket nozzles, crucibles, heat pipes, propulsion components, sputtering targets, turbines, rocket engines, and nuclear power components.


Form Generated on 05/25/2018 11:56:27