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Proceedings Paper

Sapphire window statistical thermal fracture characterization using a CO2 laser
Author(s): Daniel H. Platus; Oscar Esquivel; James D. Barrie; Paul D. Chaffee
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Paper Abstract

The carbon-dioxide laser provides an effective, inexpensive method for simulating aerodynamic heating in sapphire seeker windows for thermostructural testing. It has been shown, for flat, side-mounted windows, that the window edges are design controlling for two reasons. Peak stresses occur in the window edge from aerodynamic heating, and the edge strength is degraded from subsurface machining damage during window fabrication. Window edge flight stresses can be approximately replicated in small laser-heated sapphire coupons that are geometrically similar to the seeker window edge. A 3-kW carbon-dioxide laser at The Aerospace Corporation Mechanics and Materials Technology Center has sufficient power to produce flight-like thermal stresses that occur in theater missile defense (TMD) interceptor seeker windows, with ample power to produce thermal stress fracture for statistical strength margin determination. The laser approach offers several advantages over alternative methods for thermostructural testing. These include its low test cost per sample, which permits many samples to be thermally fractured to obtain statistical strength data; its repeatable, well- defined thermal loading conditions; and the absence of contamination of the window surface.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 1997
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3060, Window and Dome Technologies and Materials V, (27 June 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.277048
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel H. Platus, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Oscar Esquivel, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
James D. Barrie, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)
Paul D. Chaffee, The Aerospace Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3060:
Window and Dome Technologies and Materials V
Randal W. Tustison, Editor(s)

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