TEAM, Inc. proposes to advance the state of the art of C-C material systems and preforming methods for use in hot structure applications. A program with parallel Testing and Process Development tracks is planned:
The carbon-phenolic material system from Phase I will be replaced with C-C and C-C/SiC matrix in Phase II. (densification sub-contractor Exothermics.) The flat panel testing from Phase I will be repeated to understand in-plane and through thickness property trade-offs between stitched and un-stitched variants, as well as between C-C and C-C/SiC variants. Qty 2 net shape converging / diverging nozzle components (stitched vs. un-stitched) will be provided for hot fire testing by Aerojet Rocketdyne.
Process Development: We will use “off-the-shelf” braiding technology, coupled with our custom z-stitching line, to produce net shape converging-diverging nozzle preforms with through thickness reinforcement. The semi-automated z-fiber stitching line from Phase I will be re-designed to introduce full automation, resulting in a repeatable and robust process. The Phase II converging / diverging nozzle will be designed to fit the sub-scale test rig at Aerojet Rocketdyne’s Orange, VA facility. It will also serve to demonstrate versatility of the proposed braiding / stitching processes to handle geometric complexity.
The advantage of the proposed approach is that both the braiding process and the stitching work cell are easily scalable in terms of part size and geometry. Z-axis issues with legacy tape-lay approaches are addressed by the stitching process. Cost / capacity / geometric constraint issues with legacy Cartesian / Polar billet approaches are addressed by versatility of the braiding and z-stitching processes.
Potential NASA applications for the proposed technology include upper stage and in-space propulsion and lunar/Mars lander and ascent. The Advanced Exploration Systems (AES) and Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) initiatives are both particularly notable NASA programs well suited to fund a hot structure technology demonstration effort. Blue Origin, Dynetics and SpaceX are the current prime contractors working on lunar lander solutions for the NASA Artemis program.
The proposed C-C material system and preforming technology are of interest to various DoD stakeholders currently developing hypersonic missile and vehicle systems. (Army, NAVY, Air Force and their prime contractors.) The technology has use as TPS or hot structure for aeroshells, glide bodies, frustras, nose-tip adaptors, leading edges and other control surfaces.