Service life assessment of solid rocket propellants considering random thermal and vibratory loads

Yılmaz, Okan
In this study, a detailed service life assessment procedure for solid propellant rockets under random environmental temperature and transportation loads is introduced. During storage and deployment of rocket motors, uncontrolled thermal environments and random vibratory loads due to transportation induce random stresses and strains in the propellant which provoke mechanical damage. In addition, structural capability degrades due to environmental conditions and induced stresses and strains as well as material capability parameters have inherent uncertainties. In this proposed probabilistic service life prediction, uncertainties along with degradation mechanisms are taken into consideration. Vibration loads are accounted by utilizing acceleration spectral density values which are induced during various deployment scenarios of ground, air and sea transportation. Furthermore, thermal loads are represented with a mathematical model being a harmonic function of time. Throughout the finite element analyses, a linear viscoelastic material model is to be used for the propellant. Change in the structural capability of the propellant with time is calculated using Laheru's cumulative damage model. Moreover, to include aging effect of the propellant, Layton model is used. To determine the effects of induced stress and strains under variations and uncertainties in the random loads and material constants, mathematical surrogate models are constructed using response surface method. Limit state functions are utilized to predict failure modes of the solid rocket motor. First order reliability method is used to calculate reliability and probability of failure of the propellant grain. With the proposed methodology, instantaneous reliability of the propellant grain is determined within a confidence interval.
Citation Formats
O. Yılmaz, “Service life assessment of solid rocket propellants considering random thermal and vibratory loads,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.