Thermostructural Composite Materials: From Space to Advanced Fission Applications

I. Berdoyes (Sp), J. Thebault, Snecma Propulsion Solide, Le Haillan Cedex (France) 
Materials improvement is one of the key factors for designing advanced solid rocket motor nozzles and for increasing missile vehicles performances, but also for using in new industrial applications.
Then, carbon-carbon thermostructural composites materials have been developed for about thirty-five years. At that time, the aim was to find replacement materials to tungsten, pyrographites and polycristallin graphites. Due to the extreme variety of carbon fibers, fibrous reinforcement and densification processes, these carbon/carbon composites, called Sepcarb„¥, concern a very wide range of materials whose mechanical and thermal characteristics depend on components and processes choice.
Because of the carbon-carbon sensibility to oxidation, ceramic matrix have been developed since the end of the seventies to substitute it for carbon matrix and perform long life materials withstanding high thermal fluxes and mechanical loads under oxidation environment. These composites are called Sepcarb-inox„¥.
These composites, custom-made in accordance to technical requirements, have found industrial applications, for example for engine flaps, thermal treatment facilities and experimental nuclear fusion reactors.
Snecma Propulsion Solide is equipped with facilities available to manufacture complicated and large C-C or C/C-SiC components.
In the same time, we have made progress on the component design. Thus, Snecma propulsion Solid can be a partner involved in the definition of system specifications.
These various topics will be successively approached and examples will be showed.

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