Energy Partitioning in High Speed Impact of Analogue Solid Rocket Motors


Modelling the response of solid rocket motors to bullet and fragment impacts is a high priority among the military services from standpoints of both safety and mission effectiveness. Considerable effort is being devoted to characterizing the bullet and fragment vulnerability of solid rocket motors, and to developing solid rocket motor case technologies for preventing or lessening the violent responses of rocket motors to these impact loadings. Because full-scale tests are costly, fast-running analytical methods are required to characterize the response of solid rocket motors to ballistic impact hazards. In this study, a theoretical first-principles-based model is developed to determine the partitioning of the kinetic energy of an impacting projectile among various solid rocket motor failure modes. Failure modes considered in the analyses include case perforation, case delamination, and fragmentation of the propellant simulant material. Energies involved in material fragmentation are calculated using a fragmentation scheme based on a procedure developed in a previous impact study utilizing propellant simulant material. The model is found to be capable of predicting a variety of response characteristics for analogue solid rocket motors under high speed projectile impact that are consistent with observed response characteristics. Suggestions are made for improving the model and extending its applicability to a wider class of impact scenarios.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Jan 1999