ATK has received a contract from Boeing to develop prototype lightweight, lower noise ceramic matrix composite jet engine exhaust nozzles for the air transport market as part of an FAA-sponsored research and development programme.
The work is being done by San Diego-based ATK joint venture company COI Ceramics, as part of the US FAA's continuous lower energy, emissions and noise (CLEEN) programme.
Boeing plans to demonstrate the nozzles and other technologies it is developing for CLEEN on a Boeing 737NG and to-be-determined twin-aisle aircraft in 2012 and 2013, respectively, says ATK.
"The more efficient engines that will power [next generation aircraft] require exhaust materials that are capable of withstanding higher temperatures than the steel used in today's commercial jet engines," says ATK.
The company says its ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) are "as light as aluminium" and can withstand temperatures of more than 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit.
"These revolutionary composites also help improve acoustic performance," says ATK, which has been expanding its offerings in commercial and military aircraft structures and large turbofan engine containment cases.