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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.142 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

ISSN Imprimer: 2150-766X
ISSN En ligne: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.2017021828
pages 1-22

ASSESSMENT OF THE PERFORMANCE OF ABLATIVE INSULATORS UNDER REALISTIC SOLID ROCKET MOTOR OPERATING CONDITIONS

Heath T. Martin
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; The National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama, USA
Andrew C. Cortopassi
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, California, USA
Kenneth K. Kuo
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

RÉSUMÉ

In order to generate empirical data for use in validating ablation models of internal insulators, a subscale solid rocket motor (SRM) was developed in which flat ablative material samples, one of polybenzimidizole/nitrile butyl rubber and one of carbon fiber/ethylene propylene diene monomer, were located downstream from an aluminized, solid-propellant grain, exposed to an environment nearly identical to that present in a full-scale SRMs. The samples were imaged with real-time X-ray radiography, such that the time-resolved locations of the char surface and the char–virgin material interface were measured and instrumented with micro-thermocouples in order to record their subsurface temperature histories as well. The thermal environment in the subscale SRM was characterized using two custom-designed gauges: one to measure the total wall heat-flux and one to measure the thermal-radiation flux. This combination of in situ diagnostics and realistic SRM conditions provides insight into the internal insulator degradation in SRMs, as well as data for validating ablation models.


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