By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Defense & Aerospace Week -- Data detailed on Aerospace and Defense have been presented. According to news originating from Moffett Field, California, by VerticalNews correspondents, research stated, "This paper describes the development of a novel technique to understand the failure mechanisms inside thermal protection materials. The focus of this research is on the class of materials known as phenolic impregnated carbon ablators."
Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from National Aeronautics and Space Administration, "It has successfully flown on the Stardust spacecraft and is the thermal protection system material chosen for the Mars Science Laboratory and SpaceX Dragon spacecraft. Although it has good thermal properties, structurally, it is a weak material. To understand failure mechanisms in carbon ablators, fracture tests were performed on FiberForm ® (precursor), virgin, and charred ablator materials. Several samples of these materials were tested to investigate failure mechanisms at a microstructural scale. Stress-strain data were obtained simultaneously to estimate the tensile strength and toughness. It was observed that cracks initiated and grew in the FiberForm when a critical stress limit was reached such that the carbon fibers separated from the binder. However, both for virgin and charred carbon ablators, crack initiation and growth occurred in the matrix (phenolic) phase."
According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Both virgin and charred carbon ablators showed greater strength values compared with FiberForm samples, confirming that the presence of the porous matrix helps in absorbing the fracture energy."
For more information on this research see: Fracture in Phenolic Impregnated Carbon Ablator. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets, 2013;50(4):735-741. Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets can be contacted at: Amer Inst Aeronautics Astronautics, 1801 Alexander Bell Drive, Ste 500, Reston, VA 22091-4344, USA.
The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from P. Agrawal, NASA, Ames Res Center, Univ Space Res Associates, Thermal Protect Mat & Syst Branch, Moffett Field, CA 94035, United States. Additional authors for this research include J.F. Chavez-Garcia and J. Pham.
Keywords for this news article include: California, Spacecraft, Moffett Field, United States, Aerospace and Defense, North and Central America
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