Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to develop an o‑ring replacement seal based on carbon and ceramic constituents that utilizes the strength of carbon fiber but protects the carbon from oxidation at temperatures up to 3000°F.
High speed vehicle engines including rotating detonation engines and scramjets comprise multiple components. These components must be joined together with seals (o-rings, gaskets) to ensure that gas does not leak from one region of the flowpath to another, or into the vehicle fuselage. However, elastomeric seals are not compatible with the high temperatures at which these engines operate. Current ceramic rope seals are prone to leakage because they do not have enough preload and thermal expansion tolerance. Carbon sealing materials oxidize at high temperatures in air.
Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) will develop an o-ring replacement seal based on carbon and ceramic constituents.
In this Direct-to-Phase-II program, PSI will design, build, and test o-ring replacement seals. We will obtain third-party validation testing. We will provide prototype seals to the Air Force for testing within vehicle engines to show that the seals are compatible with the targeted vehicle applications.
For more information contact:
Dr. Peter Warren
Executive Vice President, Materials Division
Physical Sciences Inc.
Office: (978) 689-0003
Acknowledgement of Sponsorship: This work is supported under a contract with the United States Air Force. This support does not constitute an express or implied endorsement on the part of the Government.