Thermodynamic properties of carbon–phenolic gas mixtures

James Scoggins, Jason Rabinovitch, Benjamin Barros-Fernandez, Alexandre Martin, Jean Lachaud, Richard Jaffe, Nagi Mansour, Guillaume Blanquart, Thierry Magin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Accurate thermodynamic properties for species found in carbon–phenolic gas mixtures are essential in predicting material response and heating of carbon–phenolic heat shields of planetary entry vehicles. A review of available thermodynamic data for species found in mixtures of carbon–phenolic pyrolysis and ablation gases and atmospheres rich with C, H, O, and N such as those of Earth, Mars, Titan, and Venus, is performed. Over 1200 unique chemical species are identified from four widely used thermodynamic databases and a systematic procedure is described for combining these data into a comprehensive model. The detailed dataset is then compared with the Chemical Equilibrium with Applications thermodynamic database developed by NASA in order to quantify the differences in equilibrium thermodynamic properties obtained with the two databases. In addition, a consistent reduction methodology using the mixture thermodynamic properties as an objective function is developed to generate reduced species sets for a variety of temperature, pressure, and elemental composition spaces. It is found that 32 and 23 species are required to model carbon–phenolic pyrolysis gases mixed with air and CO2, respectively, to maintain a maximum error in thermodynamic quantities below 10%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-192
Number of pages16
JournalAerospace Science and Technology
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Masson SAS


  • Ablation
  • Carbon–phenolic
  • Pyrolysis
  • Re-entry vehicles
  • Thermal protection materials
  • Thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


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