Advanced science.  Applied technology.


Ultra-High Temperature Materials Characterization

Hypersonic vehicles traveling at speeds exceeding Mach 5 can reach temperatures exceeding 2200 °C (4000 °F), far exceeding the melting point or operational temperatures of most materials. Advanced high-temperature composites (e.g., C-C, CMC), refractory alloys, and thermal barrier coatings are being developed to support hypersonic flight. Quantifying the mechanical behavior of these advanced materials is critical to the development of materials with sufficient properties to perform under hypersonic conditions.

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has developed a facility capable of characterizing the mechanical behavior of advanced high-temperature composites and refractory alloys at temperatures exceeding 2200 °C (4000 °F) to ensure their integrity at these extreme temperatures.

Compression testing of a high temperature composite

Compression testing of a high temperature composite at 4000°F (without inert chamber)

Mechanical testing includes:

  • Tensile
  • Compression
  • Bending
  • Interlaminar shear
  • Interlaminar tension
  • Fracture toughness

Related Services