Strength Enhancement and Application Development of Carbon Foam for Thermal Protection Systems
CERAMIC COMPOSITES INC MILLERSVILLE MD
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Carbon foam is recognized as having great potential as a component within hybrid rainbow Thermal Protection Systems for low angle re-entry vehicles. In this concept, the carbon foam supports a ceramic matrix composite surface by providing selectable insulating or thermally conductive dual-use properties. An initial barrier to implementation was the inherent weakness and friability of the carbon foams. Under a MDA funded SBIR program, Ceramic Composites Inc. has demonstrated the ability to increase the compressive modulus by 2 12 times through the treatment of the carbon foam ligaments with a uniform silicon carbide coating, serving to enhance strength and reduce friability, with minimal influence upon the thermal properties. The process is scalable to leading edge sizes using commercially available equipment. An overview of the technical approach will be presented, along with the envelope of enhanced material properties achieved under the program.
- Polymer Chemistry
- Ceramics, Refractories and Glass