Hetoroporous heterogeneous ceramics for reusable thermal protection systems
Reusable thermal protection systems of reentry vehicles are adopted for temperatures ranging between 1000 and 2000 °C, when gas velocity and density are relatively low; they exploit the low thermal conductivity of their constituent materials. This paper presents a new class of light structural thermal protection systems comprised of a load bearing structure made of a macroporous reticulated SiSiC, filled with compacted short alumina/mullite fibers. Their manufacturing process is very simple and does not require special devices or ambient conditions. The produced hetoroporous heterogeneous ceramics showed high radiations shielding capabilities up to 2000 °C in vacuum. Even after repeated exposures at higher temperatures, a significant degradation of the SiSiC scaffold was not observed.