Year of Publication

2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)

Document Type

Master's Thesis

College

Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Alexandre Martin

Abstract

Space vehicles, while entering the planetary atmosphere, experience high loads of heat. Ablative materials are commonly used for a thermal protection system, which undergo mass removal mechanisms to counter the heat rates. Spallation is one of the ablative processes, which is characterized by the ejection of solid particles from the material into the flow. Numerical codes that are used in designing the heat shields ignore this phenomenon. Hence, to evaluate the effectiveness of spallation phenomenon, a numerical model is developed to compute the dynamics and chemistry of the particles. The code is one-way coupled to a CFD code that models high enthalpy flow field around a lightweight ablative material. A parametric study is carried out to examine the variations in trajectories with respect to ejection parameters. Numerical results are presented for argon and air flow fields, and their effect on the particle behavior is studied. The spallation code is loosely coupled with the CFD code to evaluate the impact of a particle on the flow field, and a numerical study is conducted.