Modeling gasification of carbon fiber preform in oxygen rich environments

Ali D. Omidy, Haoyue Weng, Alexandre Martin, José Graña-Otero

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


In order to better understand the role of surface reactions in carbon fibers based Thermal Protection System materials, the oxidation of a simple geometry was studied. A porous carbon fiber-based plug was subjected to a ow of oxygen at various temperatures and pressures. Although the microscopic geometry of these materials is extremely complicated, a homogenized model was used. In this model, the properties of the material only vary only along the direction of the flow. It can be shown that the governing equations for the unidirectional flow along the porous plug depend only on two parameters, which characterize the materials microscopic structure: the porosity and the interfacial area of solid carbon exposed to the gaseous phase. Furthermore, the flow evolution can be considered quasisteady based on comparison between the much shorter residence time through the porous material and the total gasification time. The characteristic time of the surface reactions relative to the residence time through the plug is quantified with Damköhler numbers. The regime of small Damköhler numbers compared to unity, usually called volumetric ablation in the literature, is characterized by slow surface reactions distributed through the whole volume of the plug. At the opposite limit, the regime of Damköhler numbers large compared to unity, usually called surface ablation, is characterized by fast surface reaction that exhausted the oxygen right at the front face of the plug.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2017
Event47th AIAA Thermophysics Conference, 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: Jun 5 2017Jun 9 2017


Conference47th AIAA Thermophysics Conference, 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support for this work was provided by NASA SpaceTech-REDDI ESI Award NNX15AD73G, and NASA Kentucky Space Grant Graduate Fellowship NNX15AR69H. The authors would like to thank Dr. T. Cochell, University of Kentucky, Dr. F. Panerai, NASA Ames, and Dr. J. White, SRI for insightful conversations and discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc, AIAA. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering


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