High Temperature Ablation of Composite Material under Plasma Jet Impact

  • Rimantas LEVINSKAS Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Romualdas KEZELIS Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Kristina BRINKIENE Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Viktorija GRIGAITIENE Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Vitas VALINCIUS Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Irena LUKOSIUTE Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Zydrunas KAVALIAUSKAS Lithuanian Energy Institute
  • Arunas BALTUSNIKAS Lithuanian Energy Institute


Simulation of the temperature distribution on space vehicles surfaces during its reentry phase is most important for assessing its landing safety. Recently composite materials, produced from high temperature resistance composites are under intensive investigations as surface protective shell for space vehicles during its reentry phases into the atmosphere. The main goal of research is to imitate high aerodynamic heating rates encountered by the protective material during reentry phases of space vehicles. This paper reports the experimental investigations of the new composite material based on light silicate frame impregnated by polymer composite tested in high temperature air jet, and generated by means of plasma torch. During experiments the plasma parameters were as follows: plasma torch capacity - (50 - 70) kW, air flow rate - (19 - 23) g/s, temperature - (1320 - 2420) °C, velocity - (40 - 50) m/s. To analyze the effect of the plasma jet impact to protective composite shell, the high speed camera movies were used. Temperature of samples set surface was measured using Type K (chromel/alumel) thermocouples. Data of composite material ablation rate and temperature of protective sample set surface during experiment are presented.