You are on page 1of 12

Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420

www.elsevier.com/locate/actaastro

Advanced ceramic matrix composite materials for current
and future propulsion technology applications
S. Schmidta;∗ , S. Beyera , H. Knabeb , H. Immicha , R. Meistringc , A. Gesslerc
a EADS-Space

Transportation, Munich, Germany
Dornier Research and Technology, Friedrichshafen, Germany
c EADS Corporate Research Centre, Munich, Germany

b EADS

Abstract
Current rocket engines, due to their method of construction, the materials used and the extreme loads to which they are
subjected, feature a limited number of load cycles.
Various technology programmes in Europe are concerned, besides developing reliable and rugged, low cost, throwaway
equipment, with preparing for future reusable propulsion technologies. One of the key roles for realizing reusable engine
components is the use of modern and innovative materials. One of the key technologies which concern various engine
manufacturers worldwide is the development of 3bre-reinforced ceramics—ceramic matrix composites. The advantages for
the developers are obvious—the low speci3c weight, the high speci3c strength over a large temperature range, and their great
damage tolerance compared to monolithic ceramics make this material class extremely interesting as a construction material.
Over the past years, the Astrium company (formerly DASA) has, together with various partners, worked intensively on
developing components for hypersonic engines and liquid rocket propulsion systems. In the year 2000, various hot-3ring
tests with subscale (scale 1:5) and full-scale nozzle extensions were conducted. In this year, a further decisive milestone was
achieved in the sector of small thrusters, and long-term tests served to demonstrate the extraordinary stability of the C/SiC
material.
Besides developing and testing radiation-cooled nozzle components and small-thruster combustion chambers, Astrium
worked on the preliminary development of actively cooled structures for future reusable propulsion systems. In order to
get one step nearer to this objective, the development of a new 3bre composite was commenced within the framework of
a regionally sponsored programme. The objective here is to create multidirectional (3D) textile structures combined with a
cost-e;ective in3ltration process. Besides material and process development, the project also encompasses the development of
special metal/ceramic and ceramic/ceramic joining techniques as well as studying and verifying non destructive investigation
processes for the purpose of testing components.
c 2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd. 

1. Introduction
Within the scope of the national technology programme ASTRA, work is being carried out on two

Corresponding author.

c 2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd.
0094-5765/$ - see front matter 
doi:10.1016/j.actaastro.2004.05.052

di;erent propulsion concepts, the advanced development of reliable “throwaway items” paying special
attention to the main aspect of low cost, and preparation for future reusable propulsion technologies for
multiple use (30–50 launches). Apart from cutting
manufacturing times and costs for “throwaway items”
for commercial launcher propulsion systems, one of

commercial carbon/carbon nozzles. are being used for the upper-stage engine RL10. An interesting representative of the group of CMCs comprises carbon3bre-reinforced silicon carbide (C/SiC). Schmidt et al. currently engine manufacturers and research institutes are stepping up their activities geared towards the use of ceramics in rocket-engine thrust-chamber components. the high temperature. is just one special feature that makes it attractive as a construction material [1]. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 Fig. A subscale nozzle on the scale of 1:5 for the Ariane 5 main engine Vulcain was made of C/SiC and also successfully tested on the research test bench P8 at DLR in Lampoldshausen at combustion-chamber . nozzle extensions have been developed to date made of C/SiC for the upper-stage engine AESTUS and successfully tested on the altitude test bench P4. modern and eIcient materials for realizing new construction concepts will play a decisive role. Currently. However.ective in3ltration method. 1. In particular. i. namely ceramic matrix composites (CMCs). In view of the extreme thermomechanical loads in the combustion chamber of liquid-propellant rocket engines. in particular at high temperatures.410 S. the multiaxis states of stress occurring in actively cooled thrust chambers necessitate a 3bre composite that features suIcient shear strength in as many directions as possible. The currently available 2-directional 3bre composites would probably only have a very limited lifetime. Fig. dispensing with active cooling and at the same time high service temperatures. the main challenges comprises implementing a high thrust-to-mass ratio. to date ceramic 3bre composites have been used primarily for radiation-cooled nozzle extensions and combustion chambers for small thrusters. Besides material and process development. lightweight material has become an established material in particular for nozzle extensions. thanks to the use of CMCs in thrust chambers of liquid-propellant rocket engines. i. substantial advantages compared to metal materials. against the backdrop of reusable propulsion system components. 1 illustrate the excellent ratio of strength to weight. Since the early 1990s. respectively. for the American launcher Delta III. the advantage here lies in the low speci3c weight (lightweight construction). compared to currently utilized metal materials. At Astrium.1 at DLR in Lampoldshausen. some years ago the development of a new material system and manufacturing process. In the sector of space propulsion systems. To date. A further signi3cant advantage is the high creep resistance and the extraordinary resistance to high temperatures compared to metal materials. engine analyses and concepts as well as the veri3cation of non-destructive test methods. The main advantages comprise on the one hand the possible weight reduction and on the other hand the high resistance to thermoshocks as well as the stability to chemical attack versus the liquid propellants used. isotropic behaviour. manufactured by Snecma in France. the focus is on the development of metal/ceramic joining techniques. was commenced.e. high thrust (performance) with a low engine mass—kN/kg. previous developments concentrated above all on the use of ceramic 3bre composites in the less thermally loaded nozzle extensions [1].e. the Astrium company has been working on a pacesetting key technology. this applies to throwaway items as well as to future propulsion systems. built by Pratt & Whitney. Due to the above advantages inherent in ceramic 3bre composites. which is made using the liquid polymer in3ltration (LPI) Process. which are currently utilized for most launcher propulsion systems for the cooled combustion-chamber structures and nozzle extensions. Ratio of strength to weight as a function of temperature [1]. System studies undertaken at Astrium as well as structural and thermal analyses promise. with the objective of combining multidirectional (3D) textile structures with a cost-e. For this reason.

For further compacting (depending on the desired porosity). Further. compacted in an autoclave and cross linked. two pyrolysis furnaces for component sizes of up to 2:5 m in diameter and 3 m in height are available (the Munich-based ECM company). and re-entry technologies. For high-temperature treatment. re-impregnation is e. compared to metals.S. Consequently. very successful test campaigns with radiation-cooled combustion chambers were carried out in the small-thruster sector. 3) as well as two 4-axis winding machines with dimensions 500=800 × 5000 mm2 and 200=800 × 2000 mm2 are available. 25%. process technique and non destructive investigation (NDI) methods 2. Analogously to the manufacturing technique for 3bre-reinforced plastics.3. amongst other things.2. pressures of up to 80 bars. CMC production by in3ltration and pyrolysis of polymers. LPI-process The C/SiC is made as shown in Fig.ected with a suitable polymer followed by pyrolysis. NDI methods In view of. hot structures. 5-axis winding machines. the nondestructive testing of C/SiC components already . liquid-polymer in3ltration was developed by DaimlerChrysler Research for. it was possible to cut the production costs. two 5-axis winding machines with dimensions 3200 × 10. signi3cantly anisotropic ceramic composite structure. space components. Production capabilities Based on the current production by EADS in Friedrichshafen of carbon 3bre reinforced plastics (CFRP) for the protective payload fairing of Ariane 5 (Speldra and Syldra). Manufacturing. various autoclaves are available for smaller components (1000 × 3000 mm2 ) as well as for large-space structures (3500 × 8500 mm2 ) in the Friedrichshafen production centre (Fig. etc. 2 via the polymer route. Fig. using a new rein3ltration polymer permitted reducing the re-impregnation cycles by 50% while retaining the same mechanical strength characteristics. Thanks to the consistent advanced development of the LPI Route over the past years. 2. Schmidt et al. 4). 2. The coated C-3bre bundle is impregnated with a powder-3lled polymer and laminated to form prepregs. 000 mm2 and 2000 × 5000 mm2 (Fig. combustion chambers. and then pyrolized without pressure and without moulding tools at temperatures of 1300–1900 K in inert gas. For the autoclave hardening of the components in order to provide them with the so-called green body. by approx. in particular for large-scale structures. In order to build axisymmetric components such as nozzle extensions. the structure is laminated.. in particular for 3D components. whereby the material was able to demonstrate its long-term stability and high chemical compatibility versus the propellants and combustion products. 3.1. 2. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 411 Fig. The component may then be coated optionally with an protection layer. 2.

As. at Astrium diverse standard procedures for the non-destructive testing of C/SiC components. Besides the above-mentioned standard procedures. Impulse thermography A mobile and proven method for determining component qualities is impulse thermography. the C/SiC combustion chambers represent 3D axisymmetric bodies. as well as in the simple estimation of the size of the defect in all three spatial directions by means of the reconstructed images. together with a characterization with . Schmidt et al.412 S. possible production defects such as delaminations. ultrasonic testing and computer tomography (CT).3. The focus and objective of such investigation is to prepare a so-called defect catalogue which is to serve as a reference for the application of the di.erences in material or structural damage such as. With respect to the later quali3cation of the individual methods. during production is a decisive criterion as regards the lifetime and reliability of highly stressed components.3. for instance. If no di. X-ray technology and ultrasonic technology. this thermal impulse penetrates uniformly into the material. for instance.2. the industrial 3D CT method is extremely advantageous. 5 shows as an example the test result of two di. are in use. By applying the latest technologies and faster algorithms. such as thermography.ering colour codings. there are delaminations or other defects in the composite material. Testing various specimen plates by means of thermography and CT. 5. occur. In order to improve the prediction potential and minimize risks. built-in defects at di.ering depth position of the arti3cial defects is also clearly to be seen. 3rst of all various C/SiC specimen plates with de3ned. 4. etc.erent depth positions and with di. the di. Currently.1. the component remains stationary. alternative methods such as computer and neutron tomography were studied. and cavities.erent methods. Fig. In the thermography image (left-hand image). In the case of impulse thermography.erent plates measured on the one hand using thermography (left-hand image) and CT (right-hand image). Fig. The system permits detecting changes in density as well as defects. 2. as well as component conditions before and after testing are to be detected. and the surface of the component to be tested is warmed very homogeneously with special Oashbulb heat in the milli.to microsecond range by some few degrees. A decisive advantage of the CT measurement lies here in the exact localization. for instance. a spatial resolution of up to 1 m and less is achieved. If. In particular defect interpretation and the correlation of the various methods are not yet completely understood. which has already been very successfully tried and tested in the development of nozzles and combustion chambers. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 Fig. Autoclave hardening of huge space structures. Computer tomography CT makes it possible to visualize the interior structure of objects non-destructively and without contact. at this spot the thermal conductivity is disturbed and visualized via a special software by means of di. pores. With the aid of the NDI methods. a comprehensive investigation programme was launched a short while ago at Astrium. in particular the visualization of the depth position of the defect. 2.erent production statuses were made and then tested applying the NDI methods thermography. delaminations.

a complete. to e. Fig. Hot-4ring tests The Vulcain subscale nozzle extension was tested in two test sequences. an integral positive compound between nozzle and sti. the use of Oexible hightemperature seals and special clamping rings. 3. in particular of the detectors. Thanks to an angular Oange design. which was suIcient to have full-Oowing conditions in the nozzle extension installed. geometry and position in the component. Vulcain subscale nozzle extension Within the framework of the TEKAN and ASTRA Programme. two Vulcain subscale nozzles on the scale of 1:5 and with an area ratio of  = 5–45 were designed. Measurement principle of 3D CT. Due to the side loads calculated. Downstream data processing can thus serve to determine wall thicknesses and represent nominal-actual contour comparisons. a dimensional measurement.ening element was generated. One of the challenges involved the interface design between ceramic nozzle and metal combustion chamber. Development and test of CMC components 3. Manufacturing and design Based on the thermal and structure-mechanical analyses. 7 shows the two coated C/SiC nozzle extensions.ener elements were necessary in order to prevent buckling of the nozzle. For manufacturing the two nozzles. two Vulcain scaled nozzles were made applying the LPI method.ect local resolution and hence to make a comprehensive statement as regards quality. and a second test sequence which comprised one single load point. quantitative coverage of the contour.e. the problem could be solved. special sti. • Investigation into material behaviour under extreme thermal–mechanical conditions.1. In addition.1. The development and test objectives of the C/SiC nozzle extension were: • To study the compatibility and function of oxidation/erosion protection coatings for di. with pc =80 bars and O=F =6.2.1. • Investigation into nozzle Oow. made using the LPI technique and subjected to hot-3ring testing on the Astrium test bench F3 (Ottobrunn) as well as on the DLR test bench P8. 413 • Upgrading/verifying of design tools (heat transition. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 Fig. Through the continuous advanced development of the industrial CT systems. • Manufacturing of complex contours with adapted sti. • Comparison with Vulcain (full-scale) lateral loads/separation data. can be e. The required 3bre angle and the wall-thickness progression of the nozzle component were set via the winding technique so as to be tailor made. • Quali3cation of measurement technology (pressure sensors at wall). steady).S. 6. Fig. By laminating on ring elements and subsequent ageing and pyrolysis. side load). 6 illustrates this principle. i. • Demonstration and veri3cation of the metallic/ ceramic joining technique. . separation.ected. It is therefore possible to visualize material defects in the component volume. 3.erent mixture ratios (O=F = 5–8). Oow separation (transient. The 40-bar load case was specially performed to visualize the transition process from free to restricted shock separation. 30% compared to the old polymer. one with a maximum chamber pressure of pc = 40 bars. Schmidt et al. Both nozzles were coated for the hot-3ring tests with a CVD-SiC layer. for the entire test duration of 32 s. respect to their type. 3. a newly developed polymer system was used which permitted reducing the manufacturing time by approx.ener rings for buckling loads. components that are 800 × 800 mm2 in size can be tested.1. In particular the high temperatures occurring at the interface in the case of an area ratio of 5 represented a particular challenge.

9. Fig. Vulcain subscale C/SiC nozzle extensions (1:5). 10. Schmidt et al. 10 illustrates the high combustion-chamber pressure test with pc = 80 bars at H0 + 10 s. pointing nearly perpendicularly to the outer surface of the nozzle. Summary Design challenge involving ceramic subscale nozzle for 3rst. particularly in the transition range from free to restricted shock separation. which is typical of parabolic rocket nozzles. 8 and 9 show the nozzle extensions on test bench F4 and during the 40-bar hot-3ring test. the Vulcain or SSME type. Additionally. The exhaust plume with the typical cap-shock pattern is clearly visible. 7. Vulcain subscale nozzle on test bench F3 in Ottobrunn. Fig. temperatures of up to 2300 K were measured on the hot-gas side by means of thermography.or booster-stage application successfully demonstrated: • Side-load case during transient start-up and shut-down. • Maximum buckling load case due to integral pressure di.e. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 Fig. the thermographical imaging lens system is shown.414 S. 8. Fig. Fig. . In addition to the high wall temperatures. large thermal gradients occurred.2.ening elements. Vulcain subscale nozzle on DLR test bench P8. i. Figs. During the F3 hot-3ring test (40 bars). The nozzle extension withstood the transition process without structural damage. Temperature measurements yielded gradients of up to 650 K. 3. especially in the sector of the sti.erence between inner and outer nozzle wall with strongly overexpanded core Oow. Vulcain subscale nozzle during 40 bar hot-3ring test (F3).

• Veri3cation of interface design—joining technique between ceramic nozzle and metal combustion chamber. – To the best of our knowledge.3. thermal) of 3bre composite structures taking into consideration the loads (vibration. for SSME are identical to Vulcain. • Optimization of the process route by using newly developed polymer systems. 3. Based on the FEM and thermal analyses. • C/SiC material withstood high wall temperatures (≈ 2300 K) and thermal gradients.1.S. etc. Fig. Aestus nozzle extension In 1998. due to parabolic nozzle contours. – Dimensioning load cases for SSME-type ceramic nozzle are identical with successfully tested Vulcain-type ceramic nozzle. with regard to combustion chamber pressure and operational load case. A main focus was the design (FEM. i. 3. the required 3bre angle and the wall-thickness progression of the Aestus nozzle were set via the winding technique. Especially the process-induced component shrinkage occurring during manufacture and as a function of the 3bre orientation had to be solved during production development with a special emphasis on adherence to the geometrical tolerances. e.g. development work on the C/SiC extension nozzle commenced. thermal conductivity) of the original nozzle laminate.e. Further development and test objectives were: • Preparation of future developments in the area of liquid propulsion.or booster-stage nozzles. Manufacturing and design The leap from subscale to large structures such as the Aestus nozzle represented a particular problem. • Manufacturing of tailor-made ceramic structures with adapted sti. Fig. as for the Vulcain subscale nozzle. world record test with ceramic nozzle extension. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 415 • Function of metallic/ceramic joining technique under real conditions. free and restricted shock separation. • Optimization of the design tools (FEM and thermal). Thanks to .) occurring in the case of Ariane 5. e. • Veri3cation of reproducibility with respect to the manufacture of complex large-scale structures made of C/SiC applying the LPI process. especially for highest heat Oux measured with restricted shock separation. Schmidt et al. • Comparison between Aestus test results and standard construction (metal nozzle). the objective being to demonstrate the basic feasibility of making full-scale components by means of the LPI Process.g. – Knowledge gained at Astrium in designing. 11 shows a section drawing of Aeatus engine with C/SiC nozzle extension. SSME type. ILS. manufacturing and testing of ceramic subscale Vulcain nozzle can be applied directly to nozzle design for further 3rst. 11. Section drawing of Aestus engine with C/SiC nozzle. ◦ plume pattern for overexpanded core Oow operation. • Implementation of a material characterization programme to determine material characteristics (creep tests. – Flow features. • Test results show excellent scalability of Oow phenomena to full scale.3. cap-shock pattern and Mach disk.eners based on thermal and structural calculations. ◦ transition from free to restricted shock separation.

13 shows prepreg manufacture on the left-hand side.416 S.ening ring is shown on the layup tool. The ring and nozzle were joined subsequently. altogether 5 nozzle hardware units have been made applying the LPI process. the nozzle contour could be made so as to be near net shape as well as weight-optimized. Since development was launched. Fig. Hot-4ring test Within the framework of the test programme. 12 illustrates how the 3bres are laid up by means of the winding technique at the Friedrichshafen Production Centre. The test was performed on the DLRs P4. 12. this tailor-made composite layup. Production of the Aestus nozzle structure by means of the winding technique at the Friedrichshafen Production Centre. Fig.ening ring (on the right). the sti. Prepreg manufacture (on the left) and laminated sti. . In contrast to the nozzle structure. funded in-house. 14 shows on the left-hand side the integrated ceramic nozzle on the P4.2 and on the right-hand side during the vacuum test. 3.05. the structural integrity of and the thermal load on the C/SiC nozzle extension were veri3ed in a sine-load vibration and vacuum hot-3ring test.2 test facility in Lampoldshausen in the year 2000. Thanks to continuous optimization of the pro- duction and process techniques. Fig. The 3rst hot-3ring test took place in the year 2000. Schmidt et al. Fig. The scheduled and realized test time amounted to 150 s at a combustion-chamber pressure of 11 bars and with a mixture ratio [O=F] of 2.3. The loads occurring on launching the Ariane necessitate providing a sti. 30%. on the right-hand side the sti. production time was cut by approx. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 Fig.ening ring at the end of the nozzle.ening ring was made by means of the prepreg technique.2. 13.

Fig. diverse clamping concepts. The propellant compatibility (MMH=N2 O4 ). Further advantages comprise: • Simpli3cation of the construction method by reducing the individual components (single-piece construction).3. Ceramic nozzle on test bench 4.ening ring. • Design. • Increase in the permissible wall temperatures of currently 1900–2200 K (with suitable layer system). 15. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 417 Fig. Summary The use of nozzle extensions made of C/SiC for upper-stage engines was successfully demonstrated with respect to: • Mechanical loads during the transient start-up and shut-down phase. Fig. hence reduced test e. hence increase in speci3c impulse (performance). Besides high material and manufacturing costs as well as the substantial use of raw materials.erent C/SiC combustion chambers. 15 depicts the current 400 N engine (Oight version). heavy metals exhibit a high density. and . 14. Schmidt et al. The potential o. In order to study the use of 3bre-composite ceramics for small thrusters. manufacture and hot-3ring test of full-scale nozzle components. Due to the high stability to chemical attack and high service temperature of up to 1850 K. iridium and platinum.ort. 3. 400 N combustion chamber Combustion chambers for apogee. • Weight reduction (60% compared to metal nozzle). in 1998 the 3rst hot-3ring tests were carried out at sea level with di. • Manner of functioning of the metal/ceramic interface. the refractory metals are used as the material for combustion chambers.3.S. • Reduction of engine mass of 30–50%. 400 N engine (Oight version).4. 3. • Manufacture of a tailor-made ceramic structure with adapted sti.ered by CMCs as a structural material for small thrusters lies among other things in the clearly lower manufacturing costs compared to metal construction.2 (left-hand side) and during the vacuum hot-3ring test. amounting to more than 21 g=cm2 .and attitude-control engines for satellites are currently made of refractory heavy metals such as rhenium.

The hot-3ring tests conducted since 1998 with coated combustion chambers made of C/SiC yielded important insights into the application potential of CMCs for small thrusters. Fig. Schmidt et al. Modi3ed C/SiC combustion chamber during the hot-3ring test.64 and 1. 3. 17. 18. comprised the main areas of e. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 Fig. 16. Fig.5.erent layers.5 and during the hot-3ring test.ering layer systems with regard to long-term deployment. Further developments In the course of developing cost-e. 18 shows the combustion chamber during the hot-3ring test. The main objective of the material and component tests was to verify the long-term behaviour (¿ 1 h) and to 3nd out the maximum permissible component temperatures. By varying the mixture ratio [O=F] in the range between 1. In this year. The feasibility together with the positive e. maximum wall temperatures of up to 1700◦ C were determined. 17) as well as newly developed layer systems were carried out. investigating di. The test time amounted to 5700 s at a combustion-chamber pressure of 11 bars. Fig. Fig.418 S. in recent years various textile . The accumulated test time amounted to 3200 s at a combustion-chamber pressure of 10 bars.92. further hot-3ring tests with modi3ed and optimized combustion chambers (Fig. C/SiC combustion chamber on the P1.ort. Modi3ed C/SiC combustion chambers coated with di.ects on engine performance were veri3ed.ective manufacturing methods for structural components made of 3bre composites.5 in Lampoldshausen. 16 illustrates the C/SiC combustion chamber on test bench P1.

The components were manufactured corresponding to the laminating technique from CFRP technology . using 3bre-reinforced ceramics. reusable propulsion technologies for the future. Schmidt et al. thus representing a reinforcement in thickness direction. Within the framework of hot-3ring testing. 3D braided pro3les can be varied in shape and cross section and are characterized by high structural integrity and tolerance.er extremely productive methods for making contoured 3bre preforms such as combustion chambers or nozzles.ective. 4. production methods for processing carbon 3bres have been developed further and innovative machine concepts elaborated for making special semi3nished products. is becoming increasingly obvious—thanks to their outstanding thermophysical and mechanical characteristics—as being the optimal solution.ective in3ltration method with the textile technique for making multidirectional 3bre-composite ceramics. innovative approaches must be followed in the area of material development in order to additionally create. in addition to material and process development. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 419 Fig. Fig. 20.S. New braiding techniques o. 3D braiding facility EADS Research Ottobrunn. on metal/ceramic joining techniques based on the active soldering method and electroplating. C/SiC nozzle extensions for upper. in particular C/SiC ceramics. 19. Robot stitching machine. fuel cooled combustion chamber structures for hypersonic Dual-Mode Ramjets (PTAH-SOCAR Fig. technology) become manufactured by a combination of textile techniques of EADS-ST France (AEROTISSJ material) and the above mentioned low-cost LSI process. as the braiding threads can be led laterally through the component wall. manufactured and successfully subjected to hot-3ring testing. 19 shows the 3D braiding facility at EADS Research (Ottobrunn) and Fig. cost e. In frame of a common development program of MBDA-France. tailor-made 3D reinforcements for tensile and shear loads can be created. 20 depicts the robot-assisted stiching machine.ers quite a few advantages. Summary New. Thus the 3D braiding technique o. Within the scope of a regionally sponsored development programme. EADS ST Germany and EADS Common Research Center Germany. EADS ST France. The actual innovation with this material development is the combination of an extremely cost-e. besides the customary one-way engine components. funded in-house. In this context.and lower-stage engines as well as C/SiC combustion chambers for small thrusters (400 N) were designed. intensive work is being carried out. Thanks to using sewing threads made of carbon 3bre.

Knabe. various destructive as well as non-destructive test measures were carried out. This served to verify the feasibility of complex nozzle components made using the LPI Route. Schmidt et al. J. AIAA 2001-3260. F. the high damage tolerance as well as the resistance of the component to elevated temperatures were demonstrated successfully in a combined 150-s-long hot-3ring test in a vacuum with an internal chamber pressure of 11 bars. hence creating a cost e. 2:5 h) at wall temperatures of up to 2000 K and combustion-chamber pressures of 10–11 bars were reached within the scope of various test campaigns. Development and testing of C/SiC components for liquid rocket propulsion applications. Since the start of development. / Acta Astronautica 55 (2004) 409 – 420 applying the so-called Liquid Polymer In3ltration process. Hot-3ring of an advanced 40 kN thrust chamber. June 1999. . In order to determine the speci3c characteristics and to monitor the quality. In hot-3ring tests. For instance. H.ective and at the same time high-performance material. Hagemann. Kretschmer. the structural integrity was proven even in the case of the most stringent requirements. With the objective of consolidating competencies in the sector of 3bre-reinforced ceramics. S. temperatures of up to 2300 K and thermal gradients in the component of up to 650 K were detected for the Vulcain subscale nozzle (original contour on the scale of 1:5) in two test series various conditions. Alting. References [1] J. For the upper-stage engine AESTUS with a 3bre-reinforced ceramic nozzle of the original size. For further reading Boeing. Strobel. such as an internal chamber pressure of 40 and 80 bars. a new. F. AIAA 99-2896. Beyer. innovative technology programme was launched in order to combine textile techniques with special in3ltration methods. With regard to advanced combustion chambers. the performance together with the long-term loadability of the diverse components were analysed. test times of 8900 s (approx.420 S. July 2001. various hot-3ring test campaigns to determine temperature limits and long-term behaviour with given operating parameters were performed following the manufacture of small 400 N ceramic thrusters. G. In order to obtain statements about deployment as a material for combustion chambers in addition to the usability of 3bre-reinforced ceramics in the nozzle-extension sector. Grauer.