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Thales Alenia Space has been using technical ceramics in its optical instruments for over a decade. The most used ceramic is Si3N4 (silicon nitride) in the constitution of telescope structures, because it has particularly good thermoelastic properties and water stability. Space qualification of such ceramic parts used in satellites is required to assess the conformity of components with technical specifications. Currently such proof testing consists of static and dynamic stress analysis which demand considerable resources and are subject to uncertainties. Therefore, it is crucial to develop an alternative non-destructive test to qualify ceramic components for space, which is cost-effective and reliable, reducing the risk of damage to the part, while allowing to characterize more sophisticated geometries as well as a wider range of sizes than standard tensile tests.
The objective of this thesis is to simulate thermal shock testing of ceramic components by the quenching process.