Propulsion Materials Program

Reliable high-temperature propulsion materials are crucial to improved engine efficiency, reduced fuel costs and decreased maintenance/total life cycle costs. The useful life of a material in any application depends on diverse factors such as the marine environment, temperature and cyclic activities, and mechanical stress. The materials also need to resist oxidation, corrosion or alternating cycles of oxidation and corrosion.

The research in this Office of Naval Research (ONR) topic area involves, in part, the thermodynamics and kinetics of materials interactions and materials stability under marine operating environments and temperatures. In order to eventually provide optimal materials for application, research is needed to develop models to assist the development of new materials and to help predict the life of both existing and new materials. Basic research in this area should help ONR understand how to reduce and manage materials instabilities and degradation. The research to investigate the mechanisms that lead to materials degradation should also explore how the mechanisms fundamentally relate to or depend on mechanics, interdiffusion, coatings and materials chemistry, as well as the environmental parameters of temperature, pressure and humidity. Computational approaches to creating new materials and material processes or improving the performance of current materials are encouraged. Current materials include Ni-base single-crystal superalloys, ceramic matrix composites, ceramics, Mo-based superalloys, thermal barrier coatings, environmental coatings and other coatings resistant to oxidation and corrosion environments.


  • Aircraft and marine engines

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. David Shifler

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 33

Email for Questions:

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