Form 9.B Project Summary



Proposal Number:


Project Title:

A Low Risk, Low Cost Manufacturing

Method for Lightweight RLV

Expanding Wall Structures

Technical Abstract (Limit 200 words)

Foster-Miller will demonstrate a low risk

manufacturing method for high performance,

low-cost, lightweight ceramic matrix composite

structures for the RLV Aerospike Engine

Expanding Wall that is technically and economically

feasible. Foster-Miller will do this by employing

resin transfer molding, ceramic precursors, and

ceramic fiber reinforcement to build curved panels,

representative of those found in the RLV

Expanding Wall, with internal cooling channels. To

achieve the overall objective, Foster-Miller will

work closely with our commercialization partner

Boeing-Rocketdyne Division, the manufacturer of

the RLV engine, and NASA to address materials

selection, component design, and overall

performance requirements.

The proposed innovation address the need to

improve the overall performance of the RLV

Aerospike Engine by reducing weight and thus

increasing thrust-to-weight. The innovative

technique also is a low risk, potentially low cost

manufacturing approach to large, complex,

high-temperature continuos fiber-reinforced

ceramic matrix composites, often very difficult or

impossible with CVI techniques. The proposed

manufacturing can be employed for a variety of

rocket and turbojet engine components including

ducts, stators, cooled/uncooled nozzle components,

and turbopump components.

Potential Commercial Applications (Limit 200 words)

At the end of the Phase I effort, NASA will have a

proven, low risk technique for fabricating fiber

reinforced ceramic matrix composites with internal

cooling passageways. The technique will be

applicable to a variety of ceramic materials systems

and rocket and turbojet combustion pathway

components. At the end of Phase II, a subscale

expanding wall article will be ready for testing in a

rocket environment.

Name and Address of Principal Investigator (Name,

Organization Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip)

Dr. William J. Hurley, Jr.

Foster-Miller, Inc.

350 Second Avenue

Waltham , MA 02154-1196

Name and Address of Offeror (Firm Name, Mail Address,


Adi R. Guzdar

Foster-Miller, Inc.

350 Second Avenue

Waltham , MA 02154-1196