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C(f) or SiC(f) - C, SiC, HfC, ZrC, NbC, TaC, TiC, B4C, HfB2, Mo,Zr,Hf Ir, Nb, Re

Fabrication of CMC components via a low-cost, rapid CVI process based on a gas-pulsed, reverse thermal gradient CVI (GP-RTG CVI)

  • Hypersonic propulsion, “zero erosion” nozzle liner
  • Divert attitude propulsion (DACS) thrusters
  • Ion optics C(ϝ)/C grids
  • Long-life, fiber interface coatings
  • Lightweight injectors for DACS
  • Graded Cf- SiC/HfC CMCs for Liquid Rocket Nozzles

Low-Cost Approach to CMCs

Develop processing approaches to fabricate CMCs at significantly lower costs than by conventional means

  • Large ∆T – directional matrix growth, Functionally Graded Matrices
  • Higher T&P – higher matrix growth rate
  • Colder surface – maintains open surface porosity
  • Cycling P – maintains high matrix growth rates
  • Reactant consumption reduced considerably
  • Allows variable matrix architectures
  • Reduced processing/component costs
  • Six-fold reduction in time, ten-fold reduction in cost


X p (g/cc)
p (g/cc)
p (g/cc)
p (g/cc)
C 1.8 – 2.1 ~1.95 ~1.95 -
SiC 3.22 2.25 1.81 -
Re 20.53 10.04 3.37 3.85
HfC 13.31 6.79 2.72 3.17

Assume: 40 vol% fibers and 15% porosity



  • To establish multiple-use thrust cells for 3rd generation RLV applications
  • Establish cooled composite designs for use with LH₂/LOₓ fuels
  • Demonstrate firing of liquid H₂ cooled CMC design


  • C(f)/C-HfC₉₀/SiC₁₀ was selected and tested
  • Three nozzles were fabricated and tested – surviving for more than 250 seconds at 4700˚F
  • At chamber pressures of 500psi, CMC showed gas permeability
  • No throat erosion was observed following 250 seconds at 4700˚F



  • Demonstrate low-cost, rapid CVI process for the fabrication of C(r)/SiC DACS thrusters
  • Demonstrate significant cost reduction over existing Noveltex DACS thrusters (THAAD)
  • Establish TA&T as a low-cost, second-source supplier of CMC DACS thrusters


  • Established a rapid CVI process based on GP-RTG CVI
  • Densified C(r)/SiC thrusters to ~85% in less than 40 hours
  • Developed fully automated process control system for majority of CMC processing
  • Demonstrated directional matrix growth and optimized process for DACS thrusters

PVD Magnetron Sputtered Coatings

Magnetron sputtered coatings – multilayered:

  • Residual stresses significantly influence the coating bulk properties
  • Developing process control to determine residual stress, texture, surface roughness, etc. of coating during growth


  • Thermal EBCS for SiC CMCs up to 2850oF
  • Wear resistance – B₄C/SiC, B₄C/W, etc.
  • Solid Lubrication – MoS₂/Au-Pd
  • Quasicrystalline/Nanocrystalline coatings
  • CrN/Cr2N Corrosion Resistant
Magnetron Sputtering System