Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI) has been awarded a program from the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate compatibility of high strength fibers with the PSI’s ceramic matrix composites (CMC) fabrication process.
PSI will use commercially available high strength carbon fiber to optimize the fiber/resin base material (“pre-preg”) system for the manufacturing of carbon fiber reinforced CMC. The high strength system will improve upon baseline materials established throughout the composites industry and be applicable to PSI woven fabric, tow, and tape pre-preg forms suitable for hand lay-up, fiber placement or tape braiding of complex shaped CMC components. PSI will ultimately increase the strength to weight ratio of carbon fiber reinforced CMC, reducing preform production cost by as much as 1/3. Along with increased composite strength, fibers will continue to provide toughening to the CMC structures as a result of interface development.
PSI CMCs are ideal materials for high temperature hypersonic applications, but cost is a limiting factor. Increased CMC strength will allow for reductions in component thickness, increased production rates, and decreased cost. The strength and cost improvements will be realized across PSI’s entire suite of CMC material systems and fabrication routes. Candidate Air Force applications include The High-Speed Strike Weapon (HSSW) Tech Mat program Office (AFFRL/RWPI) and Air Force ManTech (AFRL/RXMS). Additional DOD applications include Army, Navy, and Missile Defense Agency hypersonic applications. Non-defense commercial markets will also benefit from the innovation as the market for pre-preg and composite components continues to rise in both the automotive and aerospace industries.
For more information, contact:
Dr. John Steinbeck
Product Manager, Advanced Composites
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003