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 (< Lo*) to high (> Lo*) 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* < Lo* (α > 0) because of large values of Lo* at low pressures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2000
Event35th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit 2000 - Las Vegas, NV, United States
Duration: Jul 24 2000Jul 28 2000


Other35th Intersociety Energy Conversion Engineering Conference and Exhibit 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLas Vegas, NV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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