1395. Advanced Structures/Materials for Missiles


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R C Van Siclen: 1395. Advanced Structures/Materials for Missiles. In: 40th Annual Conference, Dayton, Ohio, May 4-7, pp. 23, Society of Allied Weight Engineers, Inc., Dayton, Ohio, 1981.



The need for increased performance from future missile systems will drive the development of various technologies which offer the potential of meeting these goals. One of the technology areas which offer significant promise for missiles is the area of advanced structures and materials. Such system characteristics as flight range, missile size, and overall weapon system survivability can be impacted significantly by potential advantages being offered by this technology.
Vought Corporation is currently investigating and developing a number of structural/material technologies for advanced missile applications. Among those which offer considerable advantage for missile applications are: a) advanced composite materials (both organic and metallic matrices); b) improved conventional metallic alloys; c) selectively reinforced and/or hybridized structures; and d) advanced forming techniques, including super-plastic forming/diffusion bonding.
While considerable engineering effort must be expended in order to verify the feasibility of applying any of these structures/materials technologies to advanced missiles, the ultimate benefits to be realized by their application are significant enough to justify their development. Specific areas of missile design must be considered and studies run to determine which structures/materials technologies offer the maximum benefit for that particular missile system considering both payoff, cost, and development time frame. Generally, the critical design condition consists of maximum loading at relatively high temperature for short time periods. Further, because it is generally desirable in missile systems to achieve maximum fuel volume within given overall vehicle external size and weight constraints, techniques for advanced fabrication must not restrict internal volume. Other design considerations, depending on specific missile system requirements, include storage conditions, handling, air carriage loads, and initial acquisition cost constraints.


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