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Development of efficient finite elements for structural integrity analysis of solid rocket motor propellant grains

International Journal of Pressure Vessels and Piping
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpvp.2013.06.001
  • Rocket Motors
  • Incompressible Materials
  • Visco-Elastic
  • Herrmann Formulation
  • Solid Propellant Grains


Abstract Solid propellant rocket motors (SRM) are regularly used in the satellite launch vehicles which consist of mainly three different structural materials viz., solid propellant, liner, and casing materials. It is essential to assess the structural integrity of solid propellant grains under the specified gravity, thermal and pressure loading conditions. For this purpose finite elements developed following the Herrmann formulation are: twenty node brick element (BH20), eight node quadrilateral plane strain element (PH8) and, eight node axi-symmetric solid of revolution element (AH8). The time-dependent nature of the solid propellant grains is taken into account utilizing the direct inverse method of Schepary to specify the effective Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio. The developed elements are tested considering various problems prior to implementation in the in-house software package (viz., Finite Element Analysis of STructures, FEAST). Several SRM configurations are analyzed to assess the structural integrity under different loading conditions. Finite element analysis results are found to be in good agreement with those obtained earlier from MARC software.

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