Propulsion Materials

Reliable, high-temperature, propulsion materials are crucial to increased capabilities, 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. Propulsion materials also need to resist oxidation, various forms of corrosion, or alternating cycles of oxidation and corrosion.

The topic area involves, in part, the kinetics and thermodynamics 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 in the creation and development of new materials; establish the mechanisms of simple and complex thermochemical and thermomechanical interactions of the naval environment with materials, such as hot corrosion and CMAS (calcium-magnesium-alumino-silicate) attack; and to help predict the life of both existing and new materials under various environmental scenarios.

Research Concentration Areas

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, diffusion and interdiffusion, coatings and materials chemistry, as well as the environmental parameters of temperature, pressure, salt ingestion and humidity.
  • Computational approaches to creating new materials, evolving new and enhanced understanding of degradation mechanisms, and developing optimal material processes, or improving the performance of current materials are encouraged.
  • Current materials include Ni-base single-crystal superalloys, ceramic matrix composites, multiple principal element alloys, ceramics, Mo-based superalloys, polymer matric composites, thermal barrier coatings, environmental barrier coatings, and overlay and diffusion coatings resistant to oxidation and corrosion environments.

Research Challenges and Opportunities

  • CMAS and hot corrosion characterization, mitigation strategies
  • Develop computational models leading to new materials (such as multiple principal element alloys), materials processing and life prediction
  • Understand/quantify highly coupled degradation mechanisms as a function of numerous variables
  • Overlay thermal/environmental barrier coatings
  • Advanced materials processing science

Applied Research:

  • Develop non-line-of-sight coating processes that avoid fatigue issues
  • Develop shipboard coatings, compatible with its alloy substrate that can promote higher temperature operations while avoiding inter-diffusion debits

Program Contact Information

Name: Dr. David Shifler

Title: Program Officer

Department: Code 332

Email for Questions:

How to Submit

Submit white papers, QUAD charts and full proposals for contracts to this email address: ONR Code 33 Research Submissions

Follow instructions within BAA for submission of grant proposals to website.

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