Using C/SiC Composite Materials for Thermal Protection System for Planetary Entry System, Behaviour in Relevant Environment 951617

Carbon fiber reinforced silicon carbide composite materials (C/SiC) have a variety of thermomechanical and thermal properties particularly well suited to be applied for thermal protection systems. Hermes programme has demonstrated industrially mastered to design and produce C/SiC materials with combination of good properties.
Some relevant exemples will be described: the design and manufacturing of a large wing box thermal structure demonstrator, of wing leading edges, of shingles as part of the Rigid External Insulation (R.E.I.) and development of a hot skin antenna compatible with the shingles, to be place in the R.E.I.. Improvement of manufacturing process have been done to reduce both the long process time and the associated manufacturing costs. Shingles have been the first demonstration parts of the low cost C/SiC material.
A wide range of tests have been realised to investigate the behaviour of coated C/SiC materials in relevant oxidizing environment. Particular attention will be paid on under stress ageing tests in oxidative environment as air or plasma. As design criteria, results will be given for emissivity and catalycity measurement in such environment.
Tests as in Arc Jet plasma of NASA-JSC or in BLOX-ONERA allow us to propose a qualitative approach of the transition between the active and the passive regimes for SiC oxidation. Lessons learned throught the Hermes program provide us with more confidence in preparing for the future.


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