Topology optimization of solid rocket fuel

Trenton Kirchdoerfer, Michael Ortiz, Donald S. Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper investigates possible improvements in the combustion properties of multicomponent solid propellants through the application of topology optimization methods to representative volume element (RVE) of HMX-aluminum fuel. Design objectives for the material include increased thermal conductivity and reduced amounts of induced strains under thermal loads. The targeted increases in thermal conductivity generate designs that increase burn propagation rates, whereas the reductions in structural compliance minimize relative displacements within the design cell. Novel domain-filter treatments are also developed to better control the boundary effects on the resulting designs. A family of wire-like solutions is found toprovide optimal combustion and structural properties. Burn performance estimates showed 52 and 33% improvements in burn propagation speeds relative to previous designs at, respectively, 20 and 200 atm.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1684-1690
Number of pages7
JournalAIAA journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Topology optimization of solid rocket fuel'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this