Thermo-mechanical Test Devices
The facility offers thermo-mechanical test devices for simultaneously introducing high mechanical and thermal loads in metallic as well as in composite structures.
During ascent and re-entry cell structures of reusable launch vehicles are mechanically stressed by high maneuver loads and vibration excitations. Additionally, a critical heat flux density due to aerothermal heating leads to temperatures and gradients of temperatures usually not obtained in lightweight structures. As to the fuselage, an additional thermal loading occurs within liquid propellants such as hydrogen and oxygen when stored at cryogenic temperatures. Highly sophisticated and powerful experimental techniques are required for fundamentally investigating and verifying these complex structures. Tests analyzing the structural behavior of the object of research needs to be conducted in ground test facilities under ambient atmospheric conditions. The expected levels of temperature and temperature gradients combined with mechanical loads have to be applied to investigate temperature limits, stability and strength. Thermal loading is generally applied to one or more surfaces by heating dependent on time. Mechanical loads can be implied simultaneously.