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- Small pressure perturbations in the Space Shuttle Reusable Solid Rocket Motor (RSRM) are caused by the periodic expulsion of molten aluminum oxide slag from a pool that collects in the aft end of the motor around the submerged nozzle nose during the last half of motor operation. It is suspected that some motors produce more slag than others due to differences in aluminum oxide agglomerate particle sizes that may relate to subtle differences in propellant ingredient characteristics such as particle size distributions or processing variations. A subscale motor experiment was designed to determine the effect of propellant ingredient characteristics on the propensity for slag production. An existing 5 inch ballistic test motor was selected as the basic test vehicle. The standard converging/diverging nozzle was replaced with a submerged nose nozzle design to provide a positive trap for the slag that would increase the measured slag weights. Two-phase fluid dynamic analyses were performed to develop a nozzle nose design that maintained similitude in major flow field features with the full scale RSRM. The 5 inch motor was spun about its longitudinal axis to further enhance slag collection and retention. Two-phase flow analysis was used to select an appropriate spin rate along with other considerations, such as avoiding bum rate increases due to radial acceleration effects. Aluminum oxide particle distributions used in the flow analyses were measured in a quench bomb for RSRM type propellants with minor variations in ingredient characteristics. Detailed predictions for slag accumulation weights during motor bum compared favorably with slag weight data taken from defined zones in the subscale motor and nozzle. The use of two-phase flow analysis proved successful in gauging the viability of the experimental program during the planning phase and in guiding the design of the critical submerged nose nozzle.
- Other Subject(s):
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 19970022590.
Accession ID: 97N23104.
AIAA Paper 96-2780.
Joint Propulsion; 1-3 Jul. 1996; Lake Buena Vista, FL; United States.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
View MARC record | catkey: 15647924