Analysis of composite ablators using massively parallel computation
- Shia, David
- Aug 1, 1995.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
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- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- In this work, the feasibility of using massively parallel computation to study the response of ablative materials is investigated. Explicit and implicit finite difference methods are used on a massively parallel computer, the Thinking Machines CM-5. The governing equations are a set of nonlinear partial differential equations. The governing equations are developed for three sample problems: (1) transpiration cooling, (2) ablative composite plate, and (3) restrained thermal growth testing. The transpiration cooling problem is solved using a solution scheme based solely on the explicit finite difference method. The results are compared with available analytical steady-state through-thickness temperature and pressure distributions and good agreement between the numerical and analytical solutions is found. It is also found that a solution scheme based on the explicit finite difference method has the following advantages: incorporates complex physics easily, results in a simple algorithm, and is easily parallelizable. However, a solution scheme of this kind needs very small time steps to maintain stability. A solution scheme based on the implicit finite difference method has the advantage that it does not require very small times steps to maintain stability. However, this kind of solution scheme has the disadvantages that complex physics cannot be easily incorporated into the algorithm and that the solution scheme is difficult to parallelize. A hybrid solution scheme is then developed to combine the strengths of the explicit and implicit finite difference methods and minimize their weaknesses. This is achieved by identifying the critical time scale associated with the governing equations and applying the appropriate finite difference method according to this critical time scale. The hybrid solution scheme is then applied to the ablative composite plate and restrained thermal growth problems. The gas storage term is included in the explicit pressure calculation of both problems. Results from ablative composite plate problems are compared with previous numerical results which did not include the gas storage term. It is found that the through-thickness temperature distribution is not affected much by the gas storage term. However, the through-thickness pressure and stress distributions, and the extent of chemical reactions are different from the previous numerical results. Two types of chemical reaction models are used in the restrained thermal growth testing problem: (1) pressure-independent Arrhenius type rate equations and (2) pressure-dependent Arrhenius type rate equations. The numerical results are compared to experimental results and the pressure-dependent model is able to capture the trend better than the pressure-independent one. Finally, a performance study is done on the hybrid algorithm using the ablative composite plate problem. It is found that there is a good speedup of performance on the CM-5. For 32 CPU's, the speedup of performance is 20. The efficiency of the algorithm is found to be a function of the size and execution time of a given problem and the effective parallelization of the algorithm. It also seems that there is an optimum number of CPU's to use for a given problem.
- Document ID: 19960002553.
Accession ID: 96N12561.
- No Copyright.
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