ATK, COI Ceramics win Boeing work for ceramic matrix composites

COI Ceramics will work with Boeing and the FAA for development and demonstration of a ceramic matrix composite exhaust nozzle for commercial jet engine application.

ATK affiliate COI Ceramics Inc. (San Diego) announced on Oct. 25 that it has awarded a contract by Boeing Research & Technology (Chicago, Ill., USA) for the development and demonstration of a ceramic matrix composite (CMC) exhaust nozzle for the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's Continuous Lower Energy, Emissions and Noise (CLEEN) program.

CMCs represent an additional offering in the aircraft composites market for ATK, which also has a growing business base in commercial and military aircraft structures and fan containment cases for large commercial aircraft engines.

The Boeing Co. and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration recently announced that they will work together to speed the development and application of environmentally progressive technologies to produce cleaner and quieter commercial jet aircraft.

The more efficient engines that will power these aircraft require exhaust materials that are capable of withstanding higher temperatures than the steel used in today's commercial jet engines. ATK's CMCs are as light as aluminum and can withstand temperatures of more than 1,500°F/816°C. These composites also help improve acoustic performance.

"Ceramic composites provide strength comparable to steel at the same weight you find in polymer composites," said Scott Richardson, general manager COI Ceramics Inc. "We look forward to providing this advanced technology to aid in the improvement of aircraft engines."

The Boeing technologies being developed under the CLEEN program will be flight tested aboard two demonstration vehicles, the next-generation Boeing 737 in 2012 and a yet-to-be-determined twin-aisle airplane in 2013.