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Journal of Flow Visualization and Image Processing
SJR: 0.161 SNIP: 0.312 CiteScore™: 0.1

ISSN Print: 1065-3090
ISSN Online: 1940-4336

Journal of Flow Visualization and Image Processing

DOI: 10.1615/JFlowVisImageProc.v3.i2-3.50
pages 165-176


Robert A. Frederick, Jr.
Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Research Institute, Room E-29, University of Alabama in Huntsville, Huntsville, AL 35899
James A. Nichols
Sverdrup Technology Inc., Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee 37389
Jon Rogerson
Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, California 93555


During operation, solid propellant rocket motors containing aluminized propellants often retain significant levels of molten metal inside the combustion chamber. This work determined dynamic slag accumulation characteristics inside the rocket motor. The scope includes the acquisition and analysis of real-time radioscopic data recorded from a 1.12 m-diameter rocket motor during its operation. A 9-MeV X-ray source transmitted 4000 rad/min of radiation through a 0.75 by 1.30-m field of view at the aft end of the motor. Low-light video cameras recorded real-time images. Specialized image processing determined the appearance, volume, and slosh characteristics of the retained slag during motor firing. The slag moved actively in response to the internal flow field and increased in volume at a rate of 3.43 ml/s during motor operation. The material sloshed at low frequencies (less than 2 to 3 Hz). The results indicate a slag density of 1.6 g/cm3 at motor burnout.