Development of a Supervised Learning Model to Predict Permeability of Porous Carbon Composites

Vijay B. Mohan Ramu, Luis Chacon, Cameron Brewer, Savio J. Poovathingal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Predicting the permeability of porous thermal protection system (TPS) materials is essential for understanding their performance during high-speed entry. High-fidelity formulation of Klinkenberg permeability for TPS materials is intractable because unique parameters are needed at each temperature, for various gaseous species, and at every stage of decomposition of resin in the porous material. A supervised learning model based on support vector machine is developed to predict the permeability of TPS materials and is found to be a robust technique to capture the complex relationship between temperature, average pressure, porosity, and permeability of the material. The ability of different gaseous species to permeate through the material is captured through the supervised learning model by constructing an input variable called species identifier, which relates the molecular weight and viscosity of the gaseous species. The model is also extended to capture the permeability of the full composite, which includes both the fibers and the resin. It is demonstrated that the new model captures the nonlinear relationship between permeability and degree of char during the decomposition of the resin in the porous material. The supervised learning model of the physical simulations offers a robust approach for predicting permeability of porous materials in both continuum and noncontinuum flow regimes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-858
Number of pages16
JournalAIAA Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a Space Technology Research Institutes grant from NASA’s Space Technology Research Grants Program under grant number 80NSSC21 K1117. We would also like to thank the University of Kentucky Center for Computational Sciences and Information Technology Services Research Computing for their support and use of the Lipscomb Compute Cluster and associated research computing resources. This work was performed in part at the U.K. Electron Microscopy Center, a member of the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI), which is supported by the National Science Foundation (NNCI-2025075). A small code snippet to obtain permeability of Fiber-Form and phenolic-impregnated-carbon-ablator-like composite using the newly developed supervised learning model is available at

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by Vijay B. Mohan Ramu, Luis Chacon, Cameron Brewer, and Savio J. Poovathingal. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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