Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

H. Daniel Young, Ph.D. (Advisor); Raghavan Srinivasan, Ph.D., P.E. (Committee Member); Christopher Stevens, Ph.D. (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MSMSE)


Rotating Detonation Engines (RDE) are being explored as a possible way to get better fuel efficiency for turbine engines than is otherwise possible. The walls of the RDE are subjected to cyclic thermal and mechanical shock loading at rates of approximately 3 KHz, with gas temperatures as high as 2976 K. This project performed testing with Inconel 625 and 304 stainless steel coupons in an RDE outer body to attempt to measure material ablation rates. Significant microstructural changes were observed to include grain growth in both alloys, carbide formation and grain boundary melting in Inconel, and formation of delta ferrite in the stainless steel. The testing performed in this study was unable to generate a wear rate for either material. The Inconel coupons exhibited threshold behavior, with no measurable material loss below a critical temperature, and near instantaneous melting and failure above that temperature. The 304 survived the most aggressive test conditions the facility could produce without measurable ablation. Longer duration testing is required in order to determine a damage rate for these materials under a detonative environment.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded