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Storage reliability analysis of solid rocket propellants

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2008
Hasanoğlu, Mehmet Sinan
Solid propellant rocket motor is the primary propulsion technology used for short and medium range missiles. It is also commonly used as boost motor in many di_erent applications. Its wide spread usage gives rise to diversity of environments in which it is handled and stored. Ability to predict the storage life of solid propellants plays an important role in the design and selection of correct protective environments. In this study a methodology for the prediction of solid propellant storage life using cumulative damage concepts is introduced. Finite element mesh of the solid propellant grain is created with the developed parametric grain geometry generator. Finite element analyses are carried out to obtain the temperature and stress response of the propellant to the environmental thermal loads. Daily thermal cycles are assumed to be sinusoidal cycles represented by their means and amplitudes. With the cumulative damage analyses, daily damage accumulated in the critical locations of the solid propellant grain are investigated. Meta-models relating the daily damage amount with the daily temperature cycles are constructed in order to compute probability of failure. The results obtained in this study imply that it is possible to make numerical predictions for the storage life of solid propellants even in the early design phases. The methodology presented in this study provides a basis for storage life predictions.