Foamed Composite Cases for Solid Rocket Motors with Insensitive Munitions

Period of Performance: 09/19/2006 - 09/19/2008


Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Wright Materials Research CO.
1187 Richfield Center
Beavercreek, OH 45430
Principal Investigator

Research Institution

University of Texas at Austin
10100 Burnet Road, Bldg 160 J. J. Pickle Research Campus
Austin, TX 78758
Institution POC


For missile and rockets, any accident during transportation, normal handling, routine operations, or as the result of terrorist or battle stimuli can be devastating. Most rocket motor cases are fabricated from metal alloys. Recent studies have shown that fiber-reinforced polymeric composite cases for tactical and strategic rocket motors applications can significantly enhance their performance by great gains in strength/stiffness to weight ratios, ballistic resistant, corrosion resistant, and more favorable reactions to insensitive munitions stimuli. In our Phase I STTR project we have developed a foamed composite case for solid rocket motors with insensitive munitions. We have designed, fabricated, and modeled a subscale solid rocket motor case, develop a modeling capability. The modeled predictions agreed reasonably well with the experimental results including fast cook-off results. The fast venting mechanism of our new design was also demonstrated by ballistic impact. In this Phase II project Wright Materials Research Co. will continue to team up with University of Texas at Austin and ATK Thiokol to improve the design, scale-up fabricate, modeling, and testing of the proposed lightweight composite case for MDA s insensitive munitions applications. In addition to all the advantages offer by composite technology, the proposed novel design of motor case also will greatly improve the vibration and impact resistant capabilities, and will significantly reduce thermal stimuli to the munitions. We expect to have successful fabrication of small to medium sized lightweight SRM cases and enhanced modeling capability at the end of the Phase II project.