A large variety of graphitic materials have been tested in an arc heated air stream at a surface pressure of 4.3 atm and a nominal surface temperature of 3925 K. Included were commercial and developmental grades of artificial graphites, both two and three dimensional carbon-carbon composites, composites seeded with refractory compounds, and several special materials such as pyrolytic graphite, mesophase graphite, glassy carbon, and natural graphite. ATJ graphite was used as a control material. Except for the seeded materials which had poor performance, the mass loss rate for all the man-made graphitic materials fell within the range of 17 per cent less to 30 per cent more than the rate for ATJ. Thus it is concluded that wide variations in constituents, processing, fabrication and structure have relatively little effect on the ablation performance of graphitic materials, at least under the conditions of the present tests. Particulate mass loss was observed for all the materials tested and is the dominant mechanism for mass removal at the present test conditions. It is suggested that this mechanism results from physical failure, primarily by compressive thermal stress.
THERMODYNAMICS AND COMBUSTION
AIAA PAPER 72-298
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Thermophysics Conference; Apr 10, 1972 - Apr 12, 1972; San Antonio, TX