NASA has previously developed its 3D-TPS concept which offers superior mass efficiency relative to legacy carbon-phenolic TPS. Multiple 3D-TPS recipes developed to date include a spun carbon:phenolic yarn constituent. Future recipes may require alternate yarn constructions (denier, blend ratios, fiber chemistries, etc.) in order to tailor TPS properties to specific mission requirements. Stretch-breaking and subsequent processing of carbon based yarn blends is technically challenging and domestic based sources for such expertise are extremely limited. T.E.A.M., Inc. proposes to address these issues by using our newly minted yarn fabrication facility to develop and characterize a carbon-phenolic yarn solution. Baseline machine settings for current carbon yarn blend recipes being developed for the Army will be used as a starting point. A significant portion of Phase I focus will be on quantitative characterization of yarn properties at each step of the process (tensile strength, blend quality, denier, twist level.) This will establish baseline properties and characterization techniques to be used for further iterations anticipated in Phase II. In addition to quantitative characterization, TEAM’s knowledge of 3D-TPS weaving with the legacy carbon:Kynol solution will be leveraged to evaluate overall “quality” and “weaveability” of the yarn that is developed.
The proposed carbon-phenolic spun yarn solution will provide NASA a domestic source for the yarn solution used in multiple NASA 3D-TPS recipes. Examples include dual layer 3D-TPS (i.e. NASA HEEET) and the single piece heat shield solution for Earth Entry Vehicle (EEV) on the Mars Sample Return (MSR) mission. The yarn development process and related characterization methods proposed by TEAM will also establish a model to be followed for development of new carbon-polymer yarn recipes of potential value in future TPS designs.
The DoD and their sub-contractors have a vital need for spun carbon yarn variants to support carbon-carbon (C-C) materials on various hypersonic vehicle programs. Additionally, spun carbon-polymer yarn solutions such as carbon-PEEK and carbon-PA6 are of interest for use in thermoplastic composites for defense, aerospace and commercial applications.