Advanced Zirconium Carbide Tie-Tubes for NTP, Phase I

Metadata Updated: May 2, 2019

Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) has been identified as a critical technology needed for human missions to Mars due to its increased specific impulse (Isp) as compared to traditional chemical propulsion systems. To achieve this high Isp, NTP reactors must operate at extremely high temperatures (i.e., >2400K) for long periods of time. However, many of the best materials for some reactor components (i.e., support rods, control drums, and the reflector) cannot operate at these high temperatures. Therefore, high temperature insulators that are chemically inert, neutronically acceptable, and structurally stable are desired. The Rover and Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) program identified zirconium carbide (ZrC) as a leading candidate for NTP insulator materials. However, the inherent brittleness and high melting temperature of ZrC make fabrication of complex components such as long, hexagonal tie-tubes extremely difficult. Recently, advanced Vacuum Plasma Spray (VPS) forming techniques have been developed for producing near-net-shape components from Ultra High Temperature Ceramic (UHTC) materials such as tantalum carbide (TaC) and hafnium carbide (HfC). Building on this success, advanced VPS processing techniques will be developed for producing long, hexagonal ZrC based tie-tube support rods for NTP.

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Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: U.S. Government Work

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Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019

Metadata Source

Harvested from NASA Data.json

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date August 1, 2018
Metadata Updated Date May 2, 2019
Publisher Space Technology Mission Directorate
Unique Identifier TECHPORT_33566
Maintainer Email
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 026:00
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Datagov Dedupe Retained 20190501230127
Harvest Object Id ef099cf8-cc92-407c-ab63-ca99deeb9764
Harvest Source Id 39e4ad2a-47ca-4507-8258-852babd0fd99
Harvest Source Title NASA Data.json
Data First Published 2015-12-01
Homepage URL
Data Last Modified 2018-07-19
Program Code 026:027
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 6de18f697ab6d536bcfbec0cef8506c228cbb722
Source Schema Version 1.1

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