This paper presents the results of extensive test campaigns carried out in the framework of the European C3HARME project, for the characterization of Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramic Composites for near-zero ablation Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) and near-zero erosion rocket nozzles. Tests were carried out in a supersonic arc-jet wind tunnel, where conditions typical of atmospheric re-entry were reproduced, and in different configurations in a lab-scale hybrid rocket engine. Materials having a ZrB2-SiC-based matrix and carbon fibre reinforcement showed an outstanding erosion resistance for both applications. In the arc-jet environment, a spontaneous temperature jump of 4-500 K was observed, which was attributed to a combination of increased catalytic activity and reduced thermal conductivity upon oxidation. In the high-pressure environment of the propulsion tests, long-fibre reinforcement demonstrated better mechanical resistance, which can be improved by proper tuning of the densification process. The small-scale results paved the way for large scale qualification tests on a complete TPS assembly and a medium-scale solid rocket nozzle.

Testing and Characterization of Near-Zero-Ablation Fibre-reinforced Ultra High Temperature Ceramics for Aerospace

Stefano Mungiguerra
;
Giuseppe D. Di Martino;Anselmo Cecere;Raffaele Savino;
2022

Abstract

This paper presents the results of extensive test campaigns carried out in the framework of the European C3HARME project, for the characterization of Ultra-High-Temperature Ceramic Composites for near-zero ablation Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) and near-zero erosion rocket nozzles. Tests were carried out in a supersonic arc-jet wind tunnel, where conditions typical of atmospheric re-entry were reproduced, and in different configurations in a lab-scale hybrid rocket engine. Materials having a ZrB2-SiC-based matrix and carbon fibre reinforcement showed an outstanding erosion resistance for both applications. In the arc-jet environment, a spontaneous temperature jump of 4-500 K was observed, which was attributed to a combination of increased catalytic activity and reduced thermal conductivity upon oxidation. In the high-pressure environment of the propulsion tests, long-fibre reinforcement demonstrated better mechanical resistance, which can be improved by proper tuning of the densification process. The small-scale results paved the way for large scale qualification tests on a complete TPS assembly and a medium-scale solid rocket nozzle.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11588/902578
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