Ablation modeling of thermal protection systems of blunt-nosed bodies at supersonic flight speeds

Şimşek, Buğra
The objective of this thesis is to predict shape change due to ablation and to find temperature distribution of the thermal protection system of a supersonic vehicle under aerodynamic heating by using finite element method. A subliming ablative is used as thermal protection material. Required material properties for the ablation analyses are found by using DSC (Differential Scanning Calorimetry) and TGA (Thermogravimetric Analysis) thermal analysis techniques. DSC is a thermal analysis technique that looks at how a material's specific heat capacity is changed by temperature and TGA is a technique in which the mass of a substance is monitored as a function of temperature. Moreover, oxyacetylene ablation tests are conducted for the subliming ablative specimens and measured recession values are compared with the analytically calculated values. Maximum difference between experimental results and analytical results is observed as 3% as seen in Table 7. For the finite element analyses, ANSYS Software is used. A numerical algorithm is developed by using programming language APDL (ANSYS Parametric Design Language) and element kill feature of ANSYS is used for simulation of ablation process. To see the effect of mesh size and time step on the solution of analyses, oxyacetylene test results are used. Numerical algorithm is also applied to the blunt-nosed section of a supersonic rocket which is made from subliming ablative material. Ablation analyses are performed for the nose section because nose recession is very important for a rocket to follow the desired trajectory and nose temperature is very important for the avionics in the inner side of the nose. By using the developed algorithm, under aerodynamic heating, shape change and temperature distribution of the nose section at the end of the flight are obtained. Moreover, effects of ablation on the trajectory of the rocket and on the flow around the rocket are examined by Missile DATCOM and CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis tools.
Citation Formats
B. Şimşek, “Ablation modeling of thermal protection systems of blunt-nosed bodies at supersonic flight speeds,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2013.