Anomalous Behavior of a Solid Rocket Motor Nozzle Insert During Static Firing Test

Ronald Izidoro Reis, Wilson Kiyoshi Shimote, Luiz Cláudio Pardini


This paper presents the study and development of a firing test used to evaluate the behavior of a solid rocket motor. The motivation for the development of a subscale solid rocket motor with end burning propellant grain geometry arose from the need to evaluate the nozzle inserts of graphite for the possible replacement with the carbon fiber-reinforced carbon composite. These subscale solid rocket motors, simulating full scale motor operating time, but with mass flow far below, aim to determine the ablative characteristics of composite materials as a function of operating time. The objective was to correlate the mass flow between subscale solid rocket motors and full scale using insert data materials such as graphite and carbon fiber-reinforced carbon composites, which have ablative characteristics determined in subscale solid rocket motors used at the Instituto de Aeronáutica e Espaço. The critical section to evaluate the test device is rocket nozzle throat region. Analysis of the materials of the subsonic and supersonic nozzle insert parts was performed after the burning tests. It was found the formation of a thin layer of material deposited after the test. The deposited coating layer was analyzed by electron dispersive x-ray analysis and scanning electron microscopy. The results analyzed by these methods showed that there were aluminum and carbon in the coating. Finally, the material was analyzed by x-ray diffraction, and the results showed the presence of aluminum oxide. It was also noticed that, because of the unexpected coating deposition forming material in exit conical and throat of the insert that the effect of ablation was not observed.


Propulsion; Subscale moto; Nozzle inserts; Graphite; Firing test

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