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AFRL, HRL investigate additive manufacturing for hypersonic flight structures

20 April 2018

The US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Aerospace Systems Directorate has revealed details of the testing of new additive manufactured silicon oxycarbide (SiOC) materials, which could have future application in hypersonic flight vehicles.

Developed and tested under a Cooperative Research and Development – Material Transfer Agreement (CRADA-MTA) with HRL Laboratories, the work focuses on the production of next-generation additively manufactured ceramics.

Hypersonic flight – speeds exceeding Mach 5 – is the focal point for the AFRL’s research. According to the laboratory, the potential of the HRL-produced ceramic materials for demanding US Air Force applications became apparent while Aerospace Systems Directorate scientists were searching for new thermocouple radiation shields.

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