Conference Dates

September 17-20, 2017


Among ultrahigh temperature ceramics (UHTC), ZrB2-based ceramics have received the most attention for applications in the leading edge of hypersonic space vehicles. Despite significant research efforts, the development of ZrB2-SiC based ceramics in reference to performance-qualifying property assessment (shock resistance, ablation, etc.) together with the design of thermal protection system (TPS) has not been extensively reported in literature. While briefly presenting our recent research in this direction, I shall discuss myriad of opportunities and challenges ahead in TPS design for hypersonic space vehicles.

To begin with, results of the carefully designed experiments using innovative multi-stage spark plasma sintering will be presented to understand the processing-microstructure-property correlation in ZrB2-based ceramics with different sinter aids. Despite significant efforts, fracture toughness enhancement remains to be a challenge. In the next part of the talk, I will discuss the thermo-oxidative-structural stability of the developed ceramics under arc jet flow with heat flux of 2.5 MW/m2,supported with detailed finite element (FE) analysis. In another set of experiments, free piston driven shock tube has been uniquely utilized to expose the sintered ceramics to shock waves, in order to investigate the shock-material interaction. It will be demonstrated that the framework of combining experimental and computational approach can provide significant insights into resolving the spatial and temporal evolution of temperature. It is worth highlighting that such tests though simulate hypersonic aero-thermodynamic conditions, it is important to develop working protocol for material qualification procedure

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