Micro-tomography based analysis of thermal conductivity, diffusivity and oxidation behavior of rigid and flexible fibrous insulators

Francesco Panerai, Joseph C. Ferguson, Jean Lachaud, Alexandre Martin, Matthew J. Gasch, Nagi N. Mansour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations

Abstract

Material properties and oxidation behavior of low-density felts used as substrates for conformal carbon/phenolic ablators were compared with those of a rigid carbon fiber preform used to manufacture heritage lightweight ablators. Synchrotron X-ray micro-tomography measurements were performed to characterize the materials’ microstructure at the scale of the fibers. Using the tomography voxels as computational grids, tortuosity in the continuum regime, and room temperature conductivity were computed. Micro-scale simulations of the oxidation of carbon fibers were carried out using a random walk model for oxygen diffusion and a sticking probability law to model surface reactions. The study shows that, due to a higher porosity and lower connectivity, the felt materials have lower thermal conductivity but a faster recession rate than that of the rigid preform. Challenges associated with computations based on micro-tomography are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-811
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Volume108
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Keywords

  • A. Carbon fibers
  • B. Oxidation
  • B. Porosity
  • B. Thermal properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

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