STP279: Testing of Reinforced Plastics Under Simulated Re-Entry Conditions

    John, R. R.
    Avco Corp., Wilmington, Mass.

    Bade, W. L.
    Avco Corp., Wilmington, Mass.

    Pages: 14    Published: Jan 1961


    The electric-arc air heater or plasma jet is the only laboratory tool available for studying the steady-state ablation characteristics of materials under simulated hypersonic re-entry conditions. A procedure which has been used for the calibration of a subsonic plasma jet facility is described. The calibration procedure is a method for determining the aerodynamic and thermodynamic parameters characterizing the interaction of the subsonic jet of arc-heated air with the surface of a flat-faced material specimen. Values of the air enthalpy, pressure, velocity gradient, shear-stress gradient, and heat flux at the stagnation point on the specimen are estimated using the calibration procedure. The estimated values of stagnation pressure and velocity gradient agree with experimental values based on pressure distribution measurements. Heat flux values predicted on the basis of laminar boundary-layer theory and shock-tube measurements are found to agree with heat-transfer rates measured using a constant-flow water calorimeter. The aerodynamic, thermodynamic, and chemical conditions in the plasma jet are compared with those characteristic of hypersonic re-entry. It is shown that the plasma jet is capable of exact simulation of a wide range of re-entry conditions.

    Paper ID: STP46382S

    Committee/Subcommittee: D20.18

    DOI: 10.1520/STP46382S

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