Aluminum Agglomeration and Trajectory in Solid Rocket Motors

Period of Performance: 09/13/2006 - 06/13/2007


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

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

Research Institution

Brigham Young University
A-285 ASB
Provo, UT 84602
Institution POC


The demand for higher performance rocket motors at a reduced cost requires continuous improvements in understanding and controlling propellant combustion. Numerous examples are available where seemingly minor modifications and improvements to existing solid rocket systems have caused previously well performing motors to exhibit unexpected and at times near catastrophic behavior. It is far cheaper to design out problems than fix them during the development or production phases. Various combustion issues have never been modeled in a complete motor prediction model. What is being proposed here has never been successfully done and would greatly increase the design tools available to the motor design community. The overall goal of this innovation is to provide a multi-physics based computer code which will accurately predict the entire flight of aluminum particles from the propellant surface through the nozzle exit plane together with a prediction of the effective properties (thermal and mechanical) of the binder, ammonium perchlorate, and aluminum particles which together constitute a solid propellant. The selection of the physics based models, not too simple and not too complex, is the key to producing a working model which will be able to run on computer systems becoming available in the next several years.