Sandwich structured ceramic matrix composites with periodic cellular ceramic cores: an active cooled thermal protection for space vehicles
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Thermal Protection Systems
Ceramic Matrix Composites
Ceramic cellular structures and ceramic matrix composites (CMCs), are promising materials for thermal protection systems (TPS) of future space vehicles. This is because of the good thermal properties of their cellular cores coupled with the matchless thermo-mechanical resistance of their CMC skins. A high temperature TPS with active cooling accomplished by flowing a gas into the sandwich’s core is investigated in this work. Three-dimensional thermo fluid dynamics analysis was first performed to evaluate the heat exchange in the ceramic sandwich under a Earth re-entry condition. The simulations, aiming at optimizing the TPS configuration, analysed several cellular ceramics structures by varying inlet and outlet positions, the coolant fluid and mass flows. A hexagonal cell was chosen as basic element of the porous ceramic. Sandwich structure components were produced and assembled by joining. Finally a prototypic leading edge was produced and tested in plasma wind tunnel in a ...