Baylor CASPER Ventures into Hypersonics Material Testing
Baylor CASPER recently secured a contract to study the ablation response of oxide/oxide ceramic matrix composites for possible application in hypersonic missile radomes and radio frequency windows. The research is a collaborative effort between Dr. Abhendra Singh (Principal Investigator, School of Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Truell Hyde (Co-Principal Investigator, Department of Physics & Director of CASPER) and will utilize CASPER’s Inductively Coupled Plasma Generator (IPG-6) to deliver the required thermal loads needed to evaluate the subsequent material recession rate. Apart from studying the thermal response of oxide/oxide CMCs, effort will also be geared towards establishing an industry relevant test protocol for similar tests on other potential material candidates. With the current national push in hypersonic technologies, oxide based ceramic matrix composites are well poised to be used as material systems due to their high melting point and radio frequency transparency. These key characteristics, coupled with their structural capabilities, is already proving to be advantageous although additional laboratory based assessments are needed to evaluate their survivability in the harsh thermal environment of hypersonic flights.