Thermal Performance Evaluation of Cork Phenolic for S200 external TPS in 250 kW Plasma Jet Facility

[+] Author and Article Information
Aravindakshan Pillai

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram - 695022

N Sreenivas

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram - 695022

K Krishnaraj

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram - 695022

Vinay Unnikrishnan

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram - 695022

M Ajith

Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram - 695022

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4039584 History: Received December 10, 2016; Revised January 11, 2018


In one of the launch vehicles of ISRO, there are two solid strap-ons attached to the core liquid engine. During the ascent phase, the external nozzle divergent of the strap-ons experiences heating due to radiation from the strap-ons and as well as convective heating from the impingement of plumes from the core engine. Hence the nozzle divergent of the strap-on beyond compliance ring is thermally protected by a coating of PC10 insulation applied over carbon/ epoxy structural backup. Though the system worked satisfactorily, application of PC10 had increased the inert weight of each nozzle by 165 kg. Building up entire thickness of PC10 (about 14 mm) was by brushing took almost 22 days of laborious operation for each nozzle. To reduce the inert weight as well as the time of application, precast phenolic based cork sheets (CkP) having lower density than PC10 was selected, as a replacement to PC10. As part of evaluating the thermal performance of the CkP material, specimen level tests with different configurations were carried out in 250 kW Plasma Jet Facility of VSSC wherein both the heat flux and shear stress as expected in flight were simulated simultaneously. At the end of the test program, CkP was found to be superior to PC10 for external TPS. This paper highlights details of the qualification tests carried out for clearing the cork phenolic system for use in the future launches.

Copyright (c) 2018 by ASME
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