Modeling High-Temperature Erosive Gas Flow to Support Barrel Erosion Reduction Concept Modeling for Fire Support Gun Application

Period of Performance: 11/30/2001 - 05/31/2002


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Software & Engineering Assoc., Inc.
1802 N. Carson Street, Suite 200
Carson City, NV 89701
Principal Investigator


New requirements for modern gun systems have greatly increased the propellant flame temperature and reactivity of the combustion products. As a result, thermochemical erosion can greatly reduced the service life of the gun tubes in these systems. Coatings and liners have been used to mitigate erosion, with mixed results. In order to design a new gun tube which resists excessive wear, a thorough understanding of the mechanisms contributing to thermochemical erosion is necessary. Although most of the tools required to calculate thermochemical erosion exist as individual programs, the actual analysis procedure is quite cumbersome, labor intensive and error prone. These individual physical models need to be extended to increase their applicability for new gun systems and the results merged into a Unified Thermochemical Erosion Program. This new program development will result in a single computer code that melds modern computational modeling with all the prior knowledge of thermochemical erosion. The new code will allow designers to parametrically evaluate and compare erosion performance resulting from various combinations of propellant, materials, and wear-reduction technologies. This screening tool will allow the designer to concentrate on the most promising wear resistant technology, rather than waste time on a hit and miss approach. The benefits of the development of the Phase II product, the Unified Thermochemical Erosion computer code, are that it will allow the gun system designer to quickly and accurately evaluate the relative merits of new gun systems design changes without costly test programs. The user-friendly software will allow the designer to parametrically evaluate a large variety of designs quickly and economically. This software can be extended to the automotive, rocket and jet propulsion, aerospace, petroleum, and chemical industry. Advanced thermochemical modeling in high temperature, high pressure, high carbon/ hydrogen environment as exist in gun tubes is directly applicable to thermal erosion problems in most internal combustion and jet engines utilizing hydrocarbon fuels. The higher operating temperatures and pressures of guns represent the range of operation that higher efficiency engines are already moving toward. Special coatings and shapes such as are being modeled here will be directly applicable to next generation, hotter, high efficiency engines.