Thermo-mechanical performance of an ablative/ceramic composite hybrid thermal protection structure for re-entry applications
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Hybrid thermal protection systems for aerospace applications based on ablative material (ASTERM (TM)) and ceramic matrix composite (SICARBON (TM)) have been investigated. The ablative material and the ceramic matrix composite were joined using graphite and zirconia zirconium silicate based commercial high temperature adhesives. The thermo-mechanical performance of the structures was assessed from room temperature up to 900 degrees C. In all the joints there is a decrease of shear strength with the increase of temperature. Analysis of the fractured surfaces showed that above 150 degrees C the predominant mode of fracture is cohesive failure in the bonding layer. The joints fabricated with the zirconia zirconium silicate based adhesive present the best performance and they have the potential to be used as hybrid thermal protection systems for aerospace applications in the temperature range 700-900 degrees C.