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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2014, Article ID 412718, 11 pages
Research Article

Heat Transfer and Failure Mode Analyses of Ultrahigh-Temperature Ceramic Thermal Protection System of Hypersonic Vehicles

Chongqing Key Laboratory of Heterogeneous Material Mechanics, College of Aerospace Engineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400030, China

Received 6 May 2014; Accepted 3 June 2014; Published 1 July 2014

Academic Editor: Christopher Gunaseelan Jesudason

Copyright © 2014 Tianbao Cheng 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 transient temperature distribution of the ultrahigh-temperature ceramic (UHTC) thermal protection system (TPS) of hypersonic vehicles is calculated using finite volume method. Convective cooling enables a balance of heat increment and loss to be achieved. The temperature in the UHTC plate at the balance is approximately proportional to the surface heat flux and is approximately inversely proportional to the convective heat transfer coefficient. The failure modes of the UHTCs are presented by investigating the thermal stress field of the UHTC TPS under different thermal environments. The UHTCs which act as the thermal protection materials of hypersonic vehicles can fail because of the tensile stress at the lower surface, an area above the middle plane, and the upper surface as well as because of the compressive stress at the upper surface. However, the area between the lower surface and the middle plane and a small area near the upper surface are relatively safe. Neither the compressive stress nor the tensile stress will cause failure of these areas.