This Phase I SBIR program seeks a novel process to produce new hybrid ultra-high temperature (UHTC) ceramic composites that can survive hypersonic flights. The new process will produce a very unique grain and graded microstructure that offers high strength, high fracture toughness, high thermal shock resistance, and high oxidation resistance over 2500oC. Thus, the new hybrid composites can serve as leading edges for hypersonic applications. Spark plasma sintering or hot-pressing will be used as a means for densification during the Phase I feasibility study. In the Phase II work, a near-net shape, hybrid composite process will be explored for sharp leading edges.
BENEFIT: The successful completion of the Phase I program will provide the foundation needed to produce oxidation and thermal shock resistant UHTCs. Examples of primary applications include leading edges for hypersonic flights as well as solid rocket motors (SRM) for various DoD applications such as all rocket nozzles and other ground-based missile interceptors.