Ceramics to keep Bloodhound cool

As the build of Bloodhound SSC gains momentum, engineers are assessing how to cool the tightly packaged rocket engine and the volatile HTP (High Test Peroxide).

“We’ve got approximately 1,000 litres of HTP that has the equivalent explosive force of one stick of dynamite per litre if it reaches 40°C, and starts to decompose,” says Tony Parraman of the sponsorship liaison team.

“Packaging dictates that our supercharged Jaguar engine, that we use to pump 900 litres in just 20 seconds, is sat next to the tank so preventing heat transfer is on our essential list.”

To stop the heat transfer, the team is using a ceramic coating form Zircotec for the Jaguar exhaust. It found the coating can reduce surface temperatures by 30%, ensuring heat build up during the two record runs remains within safety limits.

The ceramic plasma heat coating is also on the composite front proportion of vehicle.

Composite materials are well known for their poor resistance to temperature compared to metallics and can suffer from delamination in high temperature environments.

“We’ve got 60 minutes to turn the car around,” adds Parraman. “We want to prevent heat soak during this time. It will help us work faster without the risk of getting burnt and if we need to change the rocket, it should speed up changeover time.”

Justin Cunningham

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