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Advances in Materials Science and Engineering
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1543203, 7 pages
Research Article

Experimental and Numerical Evaluation of the Ablation Process of Carbon/Carbon Composites Using High Velocity Oxygen Fuel System

State Key Laboratory for Strength and Vibration of Mechanical Structures, School of Aerospace Engineering, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an 710049, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Xueling Fan; nc.ude.utjx.liam@gnileuxnaf

Received 12 February 2017; Revised 20 April 2017; Accepted 3 May 2017; Published 24 May 2017

Academic Editor: Ying Li

Copyright © 2017 Xueling Fan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The ablation process of carbon/carbon (C/C) composites was tested under hypersonic flowing propane flame. The microstructures of C/C composites were characterized and the numerical analysis was performed. Two typical ablation morphologies of the carbon fibers, which are drum-like and needle-like shapes, were observed depending on the alignments of fibers to the flame directions. Temperature fields in the composites were analyzed using finite element method, and the mechanisms that govern the formation of different ablation behaviors were elucidated. For paralleled fiber bundles, the highest temperature situates in the middle parts underlying the ablation pits, where the drum-like shape is formed. For perpendicular fiber bundles, the highest temperature appears at the turning point between the transverse section and the surface of fiber, which leads to the gradual ablation from the fiber surface toward the axis, and eventually the formation of the needle-like shape.