Micro-scale thermal-structural modeling for carbon fibers

Rui Fu, Alexandre Martin, Sahadeo Ramjatan, Michael Kroells, Thomas E. Schwartzentruber

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


With regards to Thermal Protection System, the thermal-structural responses of the modern ablative materials are of primary importance in many aspects, including material selection and sizing. Due to the intricate nature of its porous structure and complicated thermal conditions, ablative materials may exhibit unexpected behavior, which can potentially lead to material failure. In this study, two solvers – a direct simulation Monte Carlo solver and a finite-volume based Material Response solver – are coupled together to predict the micro-scale thermal-structural performance of a Thermal Protection System material. In this approach, individual fibers are modeled at the micro-scale, which provides valuable knowledge of the porous media behavior. Non-uniform boundary conditions, including the heat flux and external force, are captured by the Direct-Simulation Monte-Carlo solver, and the detailed thermal and structural performance of the fiber is captured by the Material Response solver. The results show that individual fibers do not fail based on temperature gradient and applied aerodynamic forces. However, it is shown that attachment points of the fibers are the most vulnerable. This vulnerability can lead to breakdown of the binders, which would separate fibers and cause material collapse.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - Jun 15 2020
EventAIAA AVIATION 2020 FORUM - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 15 2020Jun 19 2020


CityVirtual, Online

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding for this work was provided by NASA Award 80NSSC18K0261 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2017 – ESI).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


Dive into the research topics of 'Micro-scale thermal-structural modeling for carbon fibers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this