A Fast Proceduere for Optimizing Thermal Protection Systems of Re-Entry Vehicles

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M. Ferraiuolo; A. Riccio; D. Tescione; M. Gigliotti (2008), JBIS, 61, 478-486

Refcode: 2008.61.478
Keywords: Thermal stress, thermal protection systems, aero-thermal loads, Ultra High Temperature Ceramics

The aim of the present work is to introduce a fast procedure to optimize thermal protection systems for re-entry vehicles subjected to high thermal loads. A simplified one-dimensional optimization process, performed in order to find the optimum design variables (lengths, sections etc.), is the first step of the proposed design procedure. Simultaneously, the most suitable materials able to sustain high temperatures and meeting the weight requirements are selected and positioned within the design layout. In this stage of the design procedure, simplified (generalized plane strain) FEM models are used when boundary and geometrical conditions allow the reduction of the degrees of freedom. Those simplified local FEM models can be useful because they are time-saving and very simple to build; they are essentially one dimensional and can be used for optimization processes in order to determine the optimum configuration with regard to weight, temperature and stresses. A triple-layer and a double-layer body, subjected to the same aero-thermal loads, have been optimized to minimize the overall weight. Full two and three-dimensional analyses are performed in order to validate those simplified models. Thermal-structural analyses and optimizations are executed by adopting the Ansys FEM code.


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