Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramic (UHTC) materials, because of their high temperature resistance, are suitable as thermal protection systems for re-entry vehicles or components for space propulsion. Massive UHTC materials are characterized by poor thermal shock resistance, which may be overcome using C or SiC fibers in a UHTC matrix (UHTCMC). The University of Naples “Federico II” has a proven experience in the field of material characterization in high-enthalpy environments. A hypersonic arc-jet facility allows performing tests in simulated atmospheric re-entry conditions. The Aerospace Propulsion Laboratory is employed for testing rocket components in a representative combustion environment. Ad-hoc computational models are developed to characterize the flow field in both facilities and perform thermal analysis of solid samples. Current research programs are related to a new-class of UHTCMC materials, for rocket nozzles and thermal protection systems. The activities include design of the prototypes for the test campaign, numerical simulations and materials characterizations.
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