Status Report

NASA Solicitation: Development of Characterization Techniques for Advanced High Temperature Materials in Space Launch Applications

By SpaceRef Editor
August 12, 2010
Filed under , , ,

Synopsis – Aug 10, 2010

General Information

Solicitation Number: N/A
Reference Number: NNM10ZPS019
Posted Date: Aug 10, 2010
FedBizOpps Posted Date: Aug 10, 2010
Recovery and Reinvestment Act Action: No
Original Response Date: Aug 25, 2010
Current Response Date: Aug 25, 2010
Classification Code: B — Special studies and analysis – not R and D
NAICS Code: 541380 – Testing Laboratories

Contracting Office Address

NASA/George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Procurement Office, Marshall Space Flight Center, AL 35812


NASA/MSFC has a requirement for Development of Characterization Techniques for Advanced High Temperature Materials in Space Launch Applications. This procurement is for additional effort to be performed under Contract NNM08AA01B, which was awarded for the testing and analysis of propulsion system materials for the Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

NASA/MSFC intends to purchase the services from Southern Research Institute (SRI), Birmingham, Alabama, pursuant to FAR 6.302-1 which implements 10 U.S.C.2304(c)(1) for acquisition of supplies or services from only one source and no other supplies or services will satisfy agency requirements. Competition is impractical for the following reasons:

1. Due to the nature of the effort required, SRI is the only known source with the capability to generate test results with demonstrated reliability (i.e., repeatability, accuracy, and resolution) at extreme and typically non-standard testing conditions such as high temperature testing up to 5000 degrees F. SRI is the only known source that can provide the unique combination of data understanding, reliability, and component design accuracy to enable the most efficient and effective operating system to meet NASA’s goals, thus allowing for the safest system. SRI uniquely provides an ability to obtain maximum data understanding, data reliability, and design accuracy, using a unique combination of properties, such as tensile, compression, flexure strengths, in-plane shear strength with 45 degrees tension, and in-plane shear strength with 45 degrees compression configurations for composites and monolithic ceramic materials at temperatures greater than 5000 degrees F. Only SRI has demonstrated they can generate specific heat data, unrestrained electrical conductivity data, thermal expansion data, Rumanian in-plane shear data, saddle in-plane shear data, and torsional in-plane shear data, creep with a circumferential coupon data, interlaminar shear data, double notch shear data, and tensile creep data at temperatures greater than 4600 degrees F, as well as fatigue data at a frequency of greater than 500 Hz, load ratio of 0.1, and temperature of 1800 degrees F. Only SRI has demonstrated they can generate biaxial tension-tension and compression-torsion testing data from -250 degrees F to 1500 degrees F, among other testing capabilities. This combination of unique data is necessary to produce and operate these human-rated propulsion systems with the most accurate hardware designs and design safety margin.

2. The data generated by SRI from room temperature to 5000 degrees F is the only data validated to model the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) and 1st stage Crew Launch Vehicle (CLV) nozzle ablative material. All of the ablative nozzle data used for thermo-structural analytical models to support flight and flight anomaly investigation is generated by SRI. No other source has been qualified to produce this thermal data.

3. SRI is the only known source of elevated temperature permeability with the specimen under a tensile or compressive load. Further, SRI is the only firm with analog test capability which has been used to develop unique data to develop and validate thermal models for RSRM nozzle ablative liners. The restrained thermal growth test developed by and available exclusively from SRI is also necessary in characterizing and modeling next generation nozzle materials for the RSRM and 1st stage CLV.

4. This effort is a logical building block continuation of the work conducted under task 13 of contract number NNM08AA01B. This effort is designed to apply the previously developed laboratory-based tests to enhance the development of materials for launch, reentry, and space environments. It involves exploitation of the significant advances already made in the development of laboratory-based test methods for coupon and component level characterization; development of subcomponent testing capabilities for material, component and system characterization; simulation techniques for these applications. It includes development of an integrated modeling and testing approach for evaluation and optimization of new material concepts including large scale carbon-carbons. SRI has developed the expertise and is uniquely qualified to conduct this effort.

The Government does not intend to acquire a commercial item using FAR Part 12. See Note 26. Interested organizations may submit their capabilities and qualifications to perform the effort in writing to the identified point of contact not later than 4:30 p.m. local time on August 25, 2010. Such capabilities/qualifications will be evaluated solely for the purpose of determining whether or not to conduct this procurement on a competitive basis. A determination by the Government not to compete this proposed effort on a full and open competition basis, based upon responses to this notice, is solely within the discretion of the government.

Oral communications are not acceptable in response to this notice.

All responsible sources may submit an offer which shall be considered by the agency.

An Ombudsman has been appointed. See NASA Specific Note “B”.

Any referenced notes may be viewed at the following URLs linked below.

Point of Contact

Name: Gloria J. Coffey
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 256-544-9187
Fax: 256-544-6041

Name: Janice P. Burrough
Title: Contracting Officer
Phone: 256-544-0317
Fax: 256-544-5861

SpaceRef staff editor.