High Reliability, Low-Cost RTM Preforms for Solid Rocket Motor Nozzles
High Reliability, Low-Cost RTM Preforms for Solid
Rocket Motor Nozzles
350 Second Avenue
Waltham, MA 02154-1196
Glenn Freitas (617-890-3200)
Solid rocket motor (SRM) nozzles are currently fabricated by
wrapping a compliant bias (+/-45ø), carbon-phenolic prepreg tape.
Because conventional weaving looms cannot produce bias fabrics,
nozzle manufacturers must procure dry standard 0ø-90ø fabric, slit
short strips along the bias direction, and sew them together to
form a continuous tape. This process is labor intensive, has a
high scrap factor, and produces a tape with substantial
variability. Furthermore, this construction often leads to quality
problems during the subsequent prepregging operation. This project
will adapt the company's unique textile process--flat braiding--to
produce continuous lengths of bias tape of consistent quality. The
dry tape is wound directly onto a male nozzle tool to produce the
desired "shingled" preform architecture. The lay-up is then placed
in a female resin transfer mold (RTM) for infusion with phenolic
resin. This method should yield consistent quality (no stitches,
no edge quality problems) at a lower cost (less fabric handling,
no prepregging). In Phase I, machinery will be modified to produce
continuous bias tape. The tape will be wound onto a tool supplied
by Thiokol, Inc., who will also produce a demonstration article.
Phase II will involve machine scale-up to support manufacturing
methods development for full-scale SRM nozzles.
Potential Commercial Application:
Potential Commercial Applications: The textile technology may be
applied to any composites application, RTM or otherwise, where
fiber orientations other than 0ø or 90ø are desired. These may
include aircraft components, automotive parts, and sporting goods.