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Additively Manufactured Ceramic Foams for Structural Insulators

Press Release

Press Release

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a program from the Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to develop a high temperature, ceramic syntactic foam that can be fabricated using additive manufacturing (AM) techniques.

The AM ceramic insulator is compatible for co-processing with other CMC components such as aeroshells, fins, and additional hypersonic flight vehicle control surfaces, further decreasing processing time and costs. This syntactic foam will form a closed cell foam with low density, good mechanical strength, and very low thermal conductivity. PSI’s technology will enable the additive manufacturing of a novel closed-cell ceramic syntactic foam for structural insulators.

As CMCs are developed to have better mechanical properties, less material is used to build hot structures. This saves both weight and space, but also reduces the barrier between the aerodynamic heating from the high speeds and the internal components of the flight vehicle, necessitating the use of insulation to protect these components. PSI’s additively manufactured ceramic syntactic foam system will be lightweight, stable up to ~2500°F, and easily used to build custom geometries. Additionally, the foam will be easily incorporated into C/SiC structures via co-processing, enabling affordable integrated vehicle structures to be built. The foam will have thermal conductivity and mechanical strength that are vital for structural insulators in hypersonic flight vehicles. Use of the ceramic syntactic foam system will improve affordability of producing integrated hot structure and structural insulation components.

For more information, contact:

Mr. George Rodgers
Vice President, Advanced Composites
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 738-2259