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The superior strength-to-weight ratio of composites has prompted expanded usage in tactical missiles. However, increasing mission demands are driving the need for higher performance from lower cost composite materials. Matrix resins used for production of tactical missile composites evolved from strategic missile applications, where cost and production rates are less critical.

In response to this need, TRI/Austin is developing a low-cost hybrid matrix resin that provides elevated Tg, and high fiber strength translation. The matrix resin will be formulated to achieve glass transition temperatures of >400F, while retaining the ability to be processed via traditional composite fabrication processes. Catalysts will be included in versions intended for resin transfer molding (RTM) and other high throughput production environments. Resin rheology and cure kinetics will be determined, and carbon fiber laminates will be fabricated to confirm composite mechanical properties. Resin cost analysis and estimates for continued raw material availability will also be established.

TRI/Austin brings experience in the field of rocket motor composites development and testing. The development team also includes two prominent tactical weapon system suppliers, a primary provider of tactical solid propulsion products, and a major designer and manufacturer of precision engagement defense systems for the U.S. and allied militaries.

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