The High Heat Flux Test Laboratory is a state-of-the-art facility originally developed for testing ceramic thermal barrier coatings used in the turbine engine industry. Utilizing a 2 kW CO2 laser configured to TEM00, pryometer thermal sensors, various camera systems, a high pressure, high flow compressor, all controlled and monitored via a custom software application written in LabVIEW, materials are tested across a range of temperatures up to 1700 degrees Celsius, continuously monitoring and recording all data at the rate of 1 data sample per second (1Hz).
Important features: Noncontact with specimen, instantaneous heat flux or computer control of heat flux, computer controlled cooling, no contamination by container, and gaseous environments acceptable.
The raw, unfocused laser beam (5 mm FWHM) is emitted from the laser aperture and travels to the Laser Scanner, where it is directed down to either the coupon/button test sample mounted on the test stand or to the component test stations.
The LabVIEW application software controls and monitors all aspects of the laser test rig, including the laser, Brooks Mass Flow valve, and pryometers. The data from the pryometer, the laser, and the Brooks valve is recorded into a comma-separated-values (.csv) data files for thermal analysis. After failure, the samples are analyzed metallographically and compared with the thermal data. Camera feeds monitor the laser status and the test samples/components.
Laser Scanning Systems for Component Testing in the Second Work Station:
The scanning system enables complex geometries such as turbine blades to be tested in the high heat flux facility.
Important features: Ability to subject complex, three-dimensional components to high heat flux, results from the button specimens can be directly applied to components, video monitoring for failure identification, and data acquisition and control system.