Nonlinear dynamic combustion in solid rockets: L*-effects

K. C. Tang, M. Q. Brewster

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Nonlinear combustion and bulk-mode (L*) chamber gas dynamics in homogeneous solid propellant rockets are simulated computationally. A relatively new nonlinear simplified-kinetics combustion model is used. Quasi-steady gas and surface decomposition are assumed. Linear, oscillatory analytical results are. In general, the calculated results exhibit motor behavior in agreement with that observed experimentally for different L*-values, as summarized by Price. As L* increases from low (< L0*) to high (> L0*) values burning rate and motor pressure go from erratic and/or oscillatory to steady and stable. Several nonlinear combustion phenomena that have been observed experimentally but which are beyond the capability of linearized models are also predicted. These include rapid initial (over-) pressurization, propellant extinction, and dual-frequency and limit-cycle oscillations. The results suggest that some of these combustion phenomena could be due to nonlinear (but still quasi-steady) dynamic burning and mass conservation effects within the classical L*-framework rather than more complicated fluid and flame dynamical effects that have been proposed. In particular the rapid rate of initial pressurization and the "ignition" spike commonly attributed to erosive burning may be due to L*-nonlinear dynamic burning. Even without an over-pressurization spike it appears that the rapid pressurization rate in solid rockets is at least partly due to the inherent L*-instability of the initial state where L* < L0* (α > 0) because of large values of L0* at low pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Event36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2000 - Huntsville, AL, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2000Jul 19 2000


Other36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2000
CountryUnited States
CityHuntsville, AL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering

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