The Development of an Erosive Burning Model for Solid Rocket Motors Using Direct Numerical Simulation

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McDonald, Brian Anthony
Menon, Suresh
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A method for developing an erosive burning model for use in solid propellant design-and-analysis interior ballistics codes is described and evaluated. Using Direct Numerical Simulation, the primary mechanisms controlling erosive burning (turbulent heat transfer, and finite rate reactions) have been studied independently through the development of models using finite rate chemistry, and infinite rate chemistry. Both approaches are calibrated to strand burn rate data by modeling the propellant burning in an environment with no cross-flow, and adjusting thermophysical properties until the predicted regression rate matches test data. Subsequent runs are conducted where the cross-flow is increased from M=0.0 up to M=0.8. The resulting relationship of burn rate increase versus Mach Number is used in an interior ballistics analysis to compute the chamber pressure of an existing solid rocket motor. The resulting predictions are compared to static test data. Both the infinite rate model and the finite rate model show good agreement when compared to test data. The propellant considered is an AP/HTPB with an average AP particle size of 37 microns. The finite rate model shows that as the cross-flow increases, near wall vorticity increases due to the lifting of the boundary caused by the side injection of gases from the burning propellant surface. The point of maximum vorticity corresponds to the outer edge of the APd-binder flame. As the cross-flow increases, the APd-binder flame thickness becomes thinner; however, the point of highest reaction rate moves only slightly closer to the propellant surface. As such, the net increase of heat transfer to the propellant surface due to finite rate chemistry affects is small. This leads to the conclusion that augmentation of thermal transport properties and the resulting heat transfer increase due to turbulence dominates over combustion chemistry in the erosive burning problem. This conclusion is advantageous in the development of future models that can be calibrated to heat transfer conditions without the necessity for finite rate chemistry. These results are considered applicable for propellants with small, evenly distributed AP particles where the assumption of premixed APd-binder gases is reasonable.
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