Space and aerospace materials can be exposed to repeated and rapid temperature changes; for example by change of sun irradiation (e.g. spinning in earth orbit), or to severe working conditions in atmosphere (e.g. engine components).
The fast thermal cycling test is used for the screening of materials and components designated for use under severe thermal conditions. Extreme temperatures from –180 to +500 °C, and fast temperature changes with several 10 K/min, can be tested in various atmospheres (vacuum, air, other gases).
Post examination (SEM-, LO-microscopy, NDT) and various other investigations like mechanical or electrical tests can be carried out.
Fast Thermal Cycling Facility Characteristics
Typical temperature cycles
|Temperature extremes:||–170 °C to +500 °C (+/- 5 °C)|
|Heating and cooling rates:||70 °C/min +/- 2 °C/min|
|Dwell times at temperature extremes:||5 +/- 5 min|
|Number of cycles:||100 to 1,000|
|Max. specimen size (examples):||100 mm x 100 mm x 3 mm, 5 pieces
8 mm x 10 mm x 100 mm, 5 pieces
8 mm x 39 mm x 100 mm, 1 piece