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Surface Transforms plc, makers of advanced carbon fibre reinforced ceramic (CFRC) materials, has agreed a programme of supply to Roxel (UK Rocket Motors) Ltd., Europe’s largest manufacturer of rocket and missile propulsion systems.
Specifically, the new Roxel programme, which follows earlier successful project collaborations, is for the generation of precise material engineering design data for use in high-temperature rocket nozzle designs and related components. The programme will be managed by both parties and is expected to have an initial life of two years.
Previously, Surface Transforms supplied Roxel with finished components for its thrust modulation research programme on a select-supplier commercial basis. This technology has now matured to the extent that it is now being used on motor demonstrator programmes, including live motor firings. The combined total value of the Roxel collaborations is expected to be in the region of 100,000 GBP.
Surface Transforms has been working to supply a bespoke rocket propulsion part to Roxel since 2001, a new defence systems joint venture involving BAE Systems, Matra BAE Dynamics, EADS and SNPE.
Should the new project be successful, and once quality and commercial aspects have been validated, the CFRC materials are a potential candidate for future production of rocket motor nozzle components, gas valve systems, and other components.
Roxel’s thrust modulation technology is potentially applicable to a number of different missile types and the directors of Surface Transforms believe this market alone in terms of CFRC components could be significant.
Geoff Gould, Sales & Marketing Director, Surface Transforms, said that “the properties of our carbon ceramic materials mean they are eminently suitable for rocket motor components. The unique lightweight properties of CFRCs combine ultra-high temperature stability and high-energy dissipation with the strength to resist high-velocity abrasive gas streams.”
Adding that “we are delighted that Surface Transforms is able to provide Roxel with a strategically important independent source of both CFRC materials and finished rocket motor components.’
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