Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.73, No.4 (2012)

Research paper

An experimental study on a flat-plate-type solid propellant rocket motor
Masafumi Tanaka and Katsuya Urakawa


Owing to no requirement for a propellant feed system, a solid rocket motor has a great advantage to design freely its configuration. A thin flat-plate-type motor was proposed. Upon the basis that the propellant mass was 10g and the diameter of end burning grain was 77mm, the motor performance was investigated experimentally. Each component was shortened in the thrust direction. It was clarified that a sudden contraction of nozzle divergent section and a reduction of chamber free space disturbed the inlet flow to the nozzle and decreased the specific impulse. Multiple nozzles effectively shortened the motor thickness, but reduced the specific impulse furthermore. Experimental data of L*instability at low pressure and the structural mass increment at high pressure enabled calculate an optimum thickness of the motor. Actually fabricated flat-plate-type motor worked well as a retro motor for a dropping pallet. However, scattering properties such as a pressure buildup delay indicated a difficulty for precise control of the motor behavior.

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solid rocket motor, propellant, rocket propulsion, pyrotechnics

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