Archive of European Projects

NEXT GENERATION CERAMIC COMPOSITES FOR COMBUSTION HARSH ENVIRONMENTS AND SPACE (C3HARME)
Start date: 01 Jun 2016, End date: 31 May 2020 PROJECT  ONGOING 

There is an increasing demand for advanced materials with temperature capability in highly corrosive environments for aerospace. Rocket nozzles of solid/hybrid rocket motors must survive harsh thermochemical and mechanical environments produced by high performance solid propellants (2700-3500°C). Thermal protection systems (TPS) for space vehicles flying at Mach 7 must withstand projected service temperatures up to 2500°C associated to convective heat fluxes up to 15 MWm-2 and intense mechanical vibrations at launch and re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. The combination of extremely hot temperatures, chemically aggressive environments and rapid heating/cooling is beyond the capabilities of current materials. Main purpose of C3HARME is to design, develop, manufacture, test and validate a new class of out-performing, reliable, cost-effective and scalable Ultra High Temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites (UHTCMCs) based on C or SiC fibres/preforms enriched with ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) capable of in-situ repairing damage induced during operation in severe aerospace environments. C3HARME will apply to two main applications: near-ZERO erosion rocket nozzles that must maintain dimensional stability during firing in combustion chambers, and near-ZERO ablation thermal protection systems enabling hypersonic space vehicles to maintain flight performance. C3HARME represents a well-balanced mix of innovative and consolidated technologies, mitigating the level of risk intrinsic in top-notch research and innovation development. C3HARME starts from TRL of 3-4 and focuses on TRL 6 thanks to a strong industrial partnership, including SMEs and large companies. To reach TRL 6, rocket nozzles and TPS tiles with realistic dimensions and shape will be fabricated, assembled into a suitable system, and validated in a relevant ambient (environment centered test). Project results could be easily extended to the energy, medical and/or nuclear environments.
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