The thermodynamics of the zirconia/zirconium-oxygen vapor system

by Firmin Joseph Krieger

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Part of a continuing study of the complex problems found in the physics of reentry bodies. Zirconia is the eighth of a series of ablative materials investigated by mathematical techniques. This study reports the thermodynamic investigation of zirconia, Zr0, over a range of temperatures up to 6000 deg K and pressures up to 10 atmospheres. Two sets of equilibrium composition equations are used--one representing a pure gas phase, the other a heterogeneous system of gas and condensed zirconia. The gas phase of the heterogeneous chemical system, like the homogeneous gas phase, comprises five gascous zirconium-oxygen species. The results of the computational program are presented in both tabular and graphic form. The latter is a conventional Mollier diagram in which specific enthalpy is plotted against specific entropy, with cross plots of temperature, pressure, and modecular weight or moles of condensed zirconia.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation research memorandum series. The Research Memorandum was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1973 that represented working papers meant to report current results of RAND research to appropriate audiences.

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