Affordable Polymer Nanocomposite Ablative for MK 41 VLS
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-060
Topic Title: Affordable Polymer Nanocomposite Ablative for MK 41 VLS
Proposal No.: N181-060-0291
Firm: Koo & Associates International, Inc. (KAI, LLC)
6402 Needham Lane
Austin, Texas 78739
Contact: Joseph Koo
Phone: (512) 301-4170
Web Site:
Abstract: KAI team proposes to develop a comprehensive experimental and numerical research program to characterize the ablation and thermal properties of an affordable, lightweight, new classes of organic and inorganic resin matrix impregnated fiber composites. These ablative materials will have superior ablation, thermal, and mechanical properties. These materials will be fabricated and evaluated first using an oxy-acetylene test bed with advanced diagnostics. Advanced diagnostics including two-color pyrometer, IR camera video camera, high-definition video camera, and in-situ ablation recession/thermal sensors will be used to study the material surface behaviors. Scanning electronic microscopy analysis will be adapted to examine the posttest samples to understand the protective mechanisms. JHU-APL High Velocity Oxy-Fuel (HVOF) system for high-temperature, supersonic testing with Al2O3 particles injection to simulate particle impingement of solid rocket motor exhaust plumes will be used for 2nd ablative screening. Thermal conductivity properties will be measured using laser flash instrument to determine each ablativesâ?T insulative property. Special micron- and nano-sized fillers able to boost the ablation and thermal properties of these polymeric fiber-reinforced composites are also considered.
Benefits: The expected performance and improved economics of this novel multifunctional ablative materials are anticipated to result in successful applications for thermal protection of the MK 41 VLS and other thermal protection systems (TPS). This innovative ablative technology would support a wide range of thermal protection for missile launcher, solid rocket motor nozzle, TPS for reentry vehicle applications. For dual use applications: transition to commercial aerospace vehicles as well as Army, Air Force, and MDA weapon systems that require TPS are expected. Other potential users would include NASA, Department of Homeland Security, and other stakeholders.