L*-Combustion Instability in Solid Propellant Rocket Combustion

  • S. I. Cheng


An analysis of the L*-combustion instability in solid propellant rockets is formulated to include (1) secondary or residual combustion in the rocket chamber and (2) the change of the mean chamber pressure. The aim was to explore if these factors might remedy the failure of the many transient heat-transfer theories with quasi-steady gaseous-phase reactions in predicting any L*-combustion instability. It became clear soon how and why the response functions derived from such quasi-steady gas-phase reaction theories must fail regardless of the aforementioned remedies.

The time-lag formulation, which emphasizes the transient gaseous-phase reactions, is then examined in the same context. It encounters no such difficulties. If some form of Arrhenius transient reaction-rate law for the gaseous burning zone is postulated, the magnitude of the interaction index is more than adequate to explain the occurrence of L*-instability in AP motors. The apparently anomalous behavior of L*-combustion stability in rockets with nitrocellulose or nitramine propellants is a natural consequence of the time conditions of such instability. The interaction index and some mean time lag of a propellant can be determined from experimental data with sufficient details.


Burning Rate Chamber Pressure Solid Propellant Combustion Instability Interaction Index 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. I. Cheng
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Princeton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Princeton Combustion Research Laboratories, Inc.PrincetonUSA

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