This paper describes the use of a ground based gaseous hydrogen/oxygen rocket engine to test advanced materials for rocket engine and hypersonic propulsion applications. The types of materials that have been tested include ceramic composites, metallic alloys and ceramic and metallic foams. There are various configurations in which these materials can be tested. A “square” engine is used for testing flat rectangular panels by placing the panel downstream of the rocket nozzle in the exhaust path. A more traditional “round” rocket engine is used to test axisymmetric engine components such as nozzle inserts and combustion chambers that are fabricated from either ceramic composites or metal alloys. Besides hydrogen, other engine fuels such as methane are being evaluated in order to expose test materials to a hydrocarbon environment. Various organizations from industry, academia and other government agencies have used this test cell to facilitate the development of advanced materials for use in both rocket engine and hypersonic propulsion applications.

Dickens, K.W., “Experiment and Modeling of a Rocket Engine Heat Flux Environment for Materials Testing,” AIAA Paper 2003-0283, January 2003.
Bur, M.J., “A Combustion Research Facility for Testing Advanced Materials for Space Applications,” AIAA Paper 2003-6866, January 2003.
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