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- Traditional metals like steel and copper alloys have been used for many years to fabricate injector and chamber components of thruster assemblies. While the materials perform well, reducing engine weights would help existing and future vehicles gain performance and payload capability. It may now be possible to reduce current thruster weights up to 50% by applying composite materials. In this task, these materials are being applied to an existing thrust cell design to demonstrate new fabrication processes and potential weight savings. Two ceramic matrix composite (CMC) designs, three polymer matrix composite (PMC) designs, and two metal matrix composite (MMC) designs are being fabricated as small chamber demonstration units. In addition, a new alloy of copper, chrome, and niobium (Cu-8Cr-4Nb) is being investigated for thrust chamber liners since it offers higher strength and increased cycle life over traditional alloys. This new alloy is being used for the liner in each MMC and PMC demonstration unit. During June-August of 2000, hot-fire testing of each unit is planned to validate designs in an oxygen/hydrogen environment at chamber pressures around 850 psi. Although the weight savings using CMC materials is expected to be high, they have proven to be much harder to incorporate into chamber designs based on current fabrication efforts. However, the PMC & MMC concepts using the Cu-8Cr-4Nb liner are nearly complete and ready for testing. Additional efforts intend to use the PMC & MMC materials to fabricate a full size thrust chamber (60K lb(sub f) thrust class). The fabrication of this full size unit is expected to be complete by October 2000, followed by hot-fire testing in November-December 2000.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20000068435.
AIAA Paper 2000-3131.
36th Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit; 17-19 Jul. 2000; Huntsville, AL; United States.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 15970292