Study of UHTC microstructures for hypersonic applications via finite element method

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Abstract
14-072 Ricardo Afonso Angélico Angélico, R.A.(Universidade de São Paulo); Dos Santos, M.F.(Federal University of São Carlos); Sciuti, V.F.(Universidade Federal de São Carlos); Canto, R.B.(Universidade Federal de São Carlos); Pandolfelli, V.C.(Universidade Federal de São Carlos); The development of hypersonic vehicles is strongly dependent on the materials selected to its components. One of the major issues of the hypersonic aircraft design is the aerodynamic heating that increases the surface material temperature and can compromise the vehicle performance. High and ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) have been used to overcome the severe environment that these materials are exposed. UHTCs are usually composites with different microstructures and the experimental investigation of their properties have technical and economic limitations. In this context, numerical simulation is a powerful tool to support the design of new materials, enabling the investigation of several combinations of materials and their volume fraction. Finite element analysis can be applied at different scales: from the micro scale of material structure to the large scale of components and their assemblies. In the present work, the thermo-mechanical behavior of UHTC microstructures has been studied using numerical simulations via finite element method. Two numerical models are reported: (i) the failure mechanisms of SiC composites due to thermal loading; and (ii) the influence of the microstructure on the effective thermal and mechanical properties of ZrB2-SiC. The temperature dependent thermal and mechanical material properties required to perform the simulations were obtained from the literature. The thermal and mechanical properties mismatch can lead to cracks nucleation -- in one or both phases -- when the material is exposed to temperature gradients. The results were in good agreement with the data available in the literature, showing that numerical simulations lead to a better understanding of the failure mechanisms for the heterogeneous systems investigated. And also, they can be applied to correlate the material microstructure with its macroscopic behavior.
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