Title: EFFECTS OF NANO/MICRO-CERAMICS ON CARBON FIBER/UHTR COMPOSITES: THERMAL, FLAMMABILITY, AND ABLATION PROPERTIES CHARACTERIZATION-IN PROGRESS
Authors: Yanan Hou , Samantha R. Bernstein, Will Fahy , Joseph H. Koo, Jarrod Buffy
Abstract: Ablative material is widely applied in the aerospace and defense industries. It is often used as a thermal protection material to protect structures from extreme environments or solid rocket motors from exhaust plumes. Carbon fiber (CF)/Ultra-High Temperature Resin (UHTR) is a PAN-based carbon fiber-reinforced polysiloxane composite that was studied extensively in our research group. Its high char yield, excellent thermal stability, superior ablation and insulative properties made the material a good candidate for ablative Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) material. In this study, nano- and micro-ceramics are added in the CF/UHTR composite, expecting to reduce its recession and further enhance its char yield, thermal stability, flammability, and ablation properties. Five ceramics are analyzed by a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) to study their reaction in air and nitrogen at elevated temperatures. Ceramics before and post-test are observed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The ceramics are then mixed into UHTR resin with 5 wt.% loading using ultrasonication techniques. The ceramic mixed UHTR resin are then fully cured and analyzed by TGA in air and nitrogen to down select one ceramic for further study. Loading studies of various amount of the best-performing ceramic is conducted and down select to one loading ratio. In the future study, once appropriate distribution and processing procedures are determined, the ceramic filled UHTR resin system are made into ceramics/CF/UHTR (C/CF/UHTR) to evaluate its thermal stability, flammability, ablation, and thermophysical properties. Microstructures of ceramic/UHTR systems are characterized using the synchrotron hard X-ray micro-tomography Beamline 8.3.2 at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab/Advanced Light Source (LBNL/ALS). Using the microstructure data of these ceramic/UHTR systems and LBNL’s software surface and volume renderings of the ablative system are visualized to provide more insights of the microstructures of these ablative systems. Testing results will be compared to the virgin CF/UHTR as well as MX4926. MX4926 is a Solvay-Cytec manufactured phenolic-based carbon fiber composite and is considered as a model ablative TPS material
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Conference: SAMPE 2023
Publication Date: 2023/04/17
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