Internal Aerodynamics in Solid Rocket Propulsion

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In the case of solid fuel rockets, fuel and oxidiser are pre-mixed into a solid material matrix.

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The main advantage here is the lightness of required supporting structures and lack of a complex fuel storage, pumping system. The disadvantage is a greatly reduced amount of control of thrust variation for the motor. There are a large number of possible chemicals that can be used as fuel or oxidiser for rocket motors. For engineering purposes the critical parameter is the amount of thrust produced compared to the amount of fuel being consumed by the motor. The standard measure of performance is called Specific Impulse I sp.

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It can be defined as follows,. Some sample values for I sp for some standard rocket motors are listed in the following table. Table : Rocket Motor values for Specific Impulse. A rocket produces force or Thrust T by expelling high speed exhaust gas. In a vacuum, the momentum expelled in the exhaust will be equal to the thrust produced. If the rocket is operating within an atmosphere then there will be additional force components due to a pressure imbalance.

Drawing a control volume around the system and evaluation the net change in flow momentum and forces with be required in order to more accurately analyse the system. It is common practice to include this pressure loss term as a reduction in velocity. A rocket operating in an atmosphere and under influence of gravity will be subject to the balance of Thrust T and Drag D forces and gravitational acceleration.

Mod-01 Lec-26 Ignition of Solid Propellant Rockets

The motion of the rocket can be predicted using a simple force balance. Once the burning starts, it will proceed until all the propellant is burned. With a liquid rocket, you can stop the thrust by turning off the flow of fuel or oxidizer; but with a solid rocket, you must destroy the casing to stop the engine. Liquid rockets tend to be heavier and more complex because of the pumps used to move the fuel and oxidizer, and you usually load the fuel and oxidizer into the rocket just before launch.

Solid rocket motor propulsion - PDF Drive

A solid rocket is much easier to handle and can sit for years before firing. The relative safety of building and flying model rockets is the result of the production and availability of pre-packaged solid model rocket engines. The engines are produced by several manufacturers and are available in a variety of sizes with a range of engine performance. The engines are used once and discarded; a new engine is inserted into the rocket for the next flight. Before these engines became available, many young rocket builders lost limbs or life in the process of mixing rocket fuels.


With these engines, you can still have the fun of building and flying rockets, learn the fundamentals, and then move on to the more dangerous and complex problems of propulsion. On this slide we show a drawing of the parts of a model rocket engine so that you can learn how it works.

We have laid the engine on its side, and "cut" the engine in half so that we can see what is inside. Never disturb, cut, or modify a real model rocket engine. The propellant can ignite at any time if there is a source of heat. The engine is installed in a rocket shown by the dashed lines on the figure.

The engine casing is a cylinder made of heavy cardboard which contains the nozzle, propellants, and other explosive charges. At the right side of the engine is the nozzle , a relatively simple device used to accelerate hot gases and produce thrust. Model rocket nozzles are usually made of clays or ceramics because of the high temperature of the exhaust.

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