Recently established moderate size free piston driven hypersonic shock tunnel HST3 along with its calibration is described here. The extreme thermodynamic conditions prevalent behind the reflected shock wave have been utilized to study the catalytic and non-catalytic reactions of shock heated test gases like Ar, N2 or O2 with different material like C60 carbon, zirconia and ceria substituted zirconia. The exposed test samples are investigated using different experimental methods. These studies show the formation of carbon nitride due to the non-catalytic interaction of shock heated nitrogen gas with C60 carbon film. On the other hand, the ZrO2 undergoes only phase transformation from cubic to monoclinic structure and Ce0.5Zr0.5O2 in fluorite cubic phase changes to pyrochlore (Ce2Zr2O7±δ) phase by releasing oxygen from the lattice due to heterogeneous catalytic surface reaction.