Reduced Cost 2700F CMC Component Manufacturing
Navy SBIR FY2013.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2013.1
Topic No.: N131-072
Topic Title: Reduced Cost 2700F CMC Component Manufacturing
Proposal No.: N131-072-0693
Firm: Edward Pope Dr dba MATECH
31304 Via Colinas, Suite 102
Westlake Village, California 91362-3901
Contact: Edward Pope
Phone: (818) 991-8500
Web Site:
Abstract: In this Navy Phase I SBIR Program, MATECH proposes to leverage its lengthy experience in ceramic matrix composite (CMC) fabrication with recent advances in Field Assisted Sintering Technology (FAST) to demonstrate dramatic cost reduction and improved CMC performance. FAST is also known as "Spark Plasma Sintering" (SPS). MATECH proposes to team with Thermal Technology Inc., the leader in SPS processing and equipment manufacturing, in executing this proposed program. As part of its "Defense Wide Manufacturing Science and Technology Program," OSD has separately identified both CMCs and FAST (Frequency Assisted Sintering Technology) as key areas of interest. This proposed effort aims to integrate these two OSD identified manufacturing science and technology focus areas. As will be described in more detail later in this proposal, field assisted sintering technology can consolidate materials in as short an active process time as 2 minutes! FAST has been demonstrated for metals, glasses, ceramics, and nano-composite materials. Little information is available in the public domain, however, about the application of FAST to CMC fabrication. Given the lack of an experience base in applying FAST to CMCs, MATECH proposes initiating this effort by focusing on the fundamentals.
Benefits: The application of FAST to CMC manufacturing has a number of attractive advantages relative to traditional CMC fabrication routes. Some of these advantages include: 1. It has a process cycle time that is typically 70-80 times faster than most conventional methods (minutes versus days or weeks). 2. It is well suited for achieving high theoretical density (>99%). 3. It is well suited for complex net shaped components (especially important for turbine blades and vanes!). 4. It is 20-33 percent more energy efficient than conventional methods, as the material itself is what's heated. 5. Especially when conducted under vacuum, it is a high purity process. Hence, FAST processing of CMCs is a highly attractive alternative approach to lower cost, higher quality, and improved performance CMC manufacturing for 2700F hot section turbine engine components.