Ablative Material for Missile Launchers
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-060
Topic Title: Ablative Material for Missile Launchers
Proposal No.: N181-060-0633
Firm: Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc.
9063 Bee Caves Road
Austin, Texas 78733
Contact: Robert Brushaber
Phone: (512) 615-4457
Web Site: http://www.tri-austin.com
Abstract: The Navy wants the capability of firing over twenty missiles with Mark 72 boosters compared to about a dozen today, which will require a different ablative material than what is currently used. A solution to this problem is needed to get ahead of the curve for the future fleet operations. There is an opportunity to develop new ablative materials for the Mark 41 Vertical Launch System (VLS) with the same form, fit, and function of the current ablative material that extends the service life by decreasing the erosion rate. Texas Research Institute Austin, Inc., (TRI Austin) proposes to demonstrate the feasibility of a new ablative material that demonstrates similar material properties and half of the erosion rate of the current MXB-360 material. The materials will be tested with a solid rocket motor with aluminized propellant to evaluate relative erosion rates vs. material costs per pound. The thermal and physical properties of the new materials will be compared to MXB-360.
Benefits: Research and transition efforts will be directed toward development of a high temperature composite material resulting in lightweight and easily fabricated structural ablative materials for the Mark 41 VLS. The material architecture will be shown to reduce erosion rate on the VLS platform. The high temperature ablative composites will be able to function in the Navy VLS platform over the duration of the program. Other high temperature missile applications will see a potential for an improved ablative material such as NASA, Air Force, Army, and Navy missiles. The ablative composites will have applications in commercial market/revenue segments for rocket nozzles and Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) for high temperature atmospheric reentry vehicles. NASA is going to need new lightweight heat shielding materials for planet exploration missions.