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Coking Test Using Jet A-1 and Desulfurized Kerosene in a Regenerative Cooling Channel Environment


The walls of a liquid propellant rocket engine generally employ regenerative cooling channels to reduce the enormous heat load generated by the combustion of the fuel and oxidizer. When a hydrocarbon fuel is heated to a high temperature in such an engine, the reaction between the copper in the cooling channel wall and the sulfur in the fuel forms coking material with a high carbon content and low heat transfer coefficient. In this study, a series of coking tests was, therefore, performed using Jet A-1 aviation kerosene and low-sulfur/low-aromatics kerosene in specimens simulating a regenerative cooling channel under various conditions. The coking material remaining inside each specimen was analyzed and photographed using an energy-dispersive X-ray analyzer and a field emission scanning electron microscope. The results were used to determine the relationship between fuel characteristics and coking and its effects on regenerative cooling channel performance.

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This research was supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF–2019M1A3A1A02076962, NRF–2021M1A3B8077772) and the Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI–FR21C00) funded by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning, South Korea. The authors would like to thank MSIP and KARI for their support.

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Correspondence to Kyubok Ahn.

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Lee, D., Lee, K., Han, S. et al. Coking Test Using Jet A-1 and Desulfurized Kerosene in a Regenerative Cooling Channel Environment. Int. J. Aeronaut. Space Sci. (2022).

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  • Liquid rocket engine
  • Regenerative cooling
  • Kerosene
  • Coking
  • Sulfur