Heat Transfer Assessment of Aluminum Alloy Corrugated Naval Ship Deck Panels under VTOL Aircraft Thermal Loads
The behavior of aluminum alloy ship deck panels under the thermal loads of Vertical Take-off-and Landing (VTOL) capable aircraft has become a question of interest with the introduction of new primarily aluminum alloy ships to the U.S. Naval Fleet. This study seeks to provide an initial investigation of this question by examining the transient transfer of heat through aluminum alloy ship deck panels under application of the local heat transfer similar to that of a VTOL aircraft exhaust plume core in typical operation.
In this study, a jet stream intended to replicate the key physics of the core of a VTOL aircraft plume was impinged onto the upper surface of aluminum alloy corrugated deck panel test specimen. Temperature measurements are taken via thermocouples on the face of the specimen opposite the impingement to evaluate heat transfer through the specimen. This data is used to assess the effects of variation in the geometry of the corrugation between specimen. Qualitative temperature distributions were also gathered on the impingement surface via thermal imaging. A quantitative assessment of the heat paths for transverse and vertical heat transfer was made based on a thermal resistance model, leading to a conceptual description of predominant heat flow paths in the specimen, specifically weld lines between the corrugation and the flat plate surfaces.
In support of this, thermal images indicated that the weld lines provided paths for heat to be pulled away from the center of heat application more rapidly than over the rest of the surface. Ultimately, heat transfer through the specimen was found to be more dependent on the flow conditions than the variations in geometry of the deck panels due to the low variation in thermal resistance across the plate. A recommendation is made based upon this observation to use the deck panels similarly to heat exchanges by adding a small amount of through-deck airflow in the areas of high heat load.