Investigation of Silicon Carbide Oxidation Mechanism Using ReaxFF Molecular Dynamics Simulation

T Park and C Park and J Jung and GJ Yun, JOURNAL OF SPACECRAFT AND ROCKETS, 57, 1328-1334 (2020).

DOI: 10.2514/1.A34669

The surfaces of the flight vehicles passing the low Earth orbit at high speeds of 7-8 km/s are placed in high temperature conditions, and the thermal protection system (TPS) is used to withstand that high temperature. Silicon carbide (SiC) is frequently used in TPSs because of its various material properties suitable for use in high temperature environments. It is important to predict the damage caused by collisions with atomic oxygen when designing TPS. Especially, SiC requires more careful consideration because of the presence of two kinds of atoms, Si and C, which show complex oxidation behavior. It is hard to conduct experiments of high-speed oxygen atom collisions, so the role of computer simulation is important. Especially, molecular dynamics (MD) simulations with the ReaxFF reactive force field are considered as one of the important research topics. In this Paper, oxygen atom collision simulations were performed on 3C-SiC structures with surface orientations of (100), (110), and (111) by MD simulations using ReaxFF. We observed the difference in sensitivity according to the direction, and also observed that the change of oxidation mechanism depends on the temperature.

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