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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.149 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

ISSN Print: 2150-766X
ISSN Online: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.v4.i1-6.360
pages 356-367

PROPENSITY OF FLAME SPREADING INTO PROPELLANT SLITS UNDER SIMULATED ROCKET-MOTOR ENVIRONMENTS

Yeu-Cherng Lu
Mechanical Engineering Department, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
Steven J. Ritchie
Mechanical Engineering Department, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA

ABSTRACT

This work was aimed to help identifying the possible cause of the Titan IV K-11 motor failure. A motor analog was used to evaluate the propensity of flame spreading into solid-propellant slits which simulated the knife-cuts resulting from the repair on one of the grain segments. Target test conditions were established to examine the validity of the test results. Experimental observations indicated that flame can indeed propagate into propellant slits even under compression, one of the test conditions controlled to simulate situations during the ignition transient of the Titan IV solid rocket motor. Based in part on the experimental evidence supported by this series of tests, it was concluded that flame spreading into the knife-cuts was the most probable scenario leading to the motor failure.


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