Advances in Carbon-Carbon Manufacturing for Hypersonic Applications

R. Gulotty, N. Murdie, L.G. Tang, S. Glen, B. Jadidian, M. Mehr, J. Nieh
Honeywell International Inc,
United States

Keywords: carbon-carbon composites, antioxidant coatings, thermal management, aerospace, hypersonics


Developing low cost hypersonic thermal protection systems for hypersonic missile intercepting vehicles or missiles remains a major challenge. Current processing techniques for thermal protection systems (TPS) for hypersonic applications are cost prohibitive due to process inefficiencies. A key barrier to low cost TPS is the high-cost of manufacturing large scale carbon fiber-carbon matrix composite structures, and their susceptibility to oxidation in hypersonic applications. By addressing the susceptibility to oxidation, a lighter weight, re-usable TPS may be achieved. Previous manufacturing techniques have included multiple cycles (often up to 6) of pitch / resin. Alternate approaches, such as Chemical Vapor Infiltration (CVI), have fewer steps but longer cycle duration relative to resin infiltration due to low conversion necessitated by the non-linear deposition rate from the surface of a part to its interior. We will describe our recent progress in reducing the manufacturing costs and cycle times for C-C composites as well as the latest developments in antioxidant barrier coatings technology. Advancements in C-C manufacturing technologies include novel preform processing for CVI densified tube structures and the potential of high yield resins as well as hydrogen recovery. Recent developments to address the oxidation susceptibility of C-C composites will be presented including a TPS that exceeded the criteria of