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Thermo-Structural and Thermo-Fluid Dynamics Analyses Supporting the Design of the Cooling System of a Methane Liquid Rocket Engine

[+] Author Affiliations
M. Ferraiuolo, D. Ricci, F. Battista, P. Roncioni, V. Salvatore

Centro Italiano Ricerche Aerospaziali - CIRA, Capua, Italy

Paper No. IMECE2014-36998, pp. V001T01A044; 8 pages
  • ASME 2014 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Advances in Aerospace Technology
  • Montreal, Quebec, Canada, November 14–20, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4642-1
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


The HYPROB Program, developed by the Italian Aerospace Research Centre, has the aim to increase the system design and manufacturing capabilities on liquid oxygen-methane rocket engines. It foresees the designing, manufacturing and testing of a ground engine demonstrator of three tons thrust. The demonstrator baseline concept is featured by 18 injectors and it is regeneratively cooled by using liquid methane. In particular, the cooling system is made by a constant number of axial channels and the counter-flow architecture has been chosen; methane enters the channels in the nozzle region in supercritical liquid condition, is heated by the combustion gases along the cooling jacket and then injected into the combustion chamber as a supercritical gas by means of the injection head.

The goal of this paper is to describe the thermo-structural and the thermo-fluid dynamic analyses that have been performed in order to support the design activities aiming at identifying the optimal configuration of the cooling jacket in terms of number of channels, rib height and width. In fact, a fully 3-D model, regarding a single channel, heated by the design input heat flux has been considered in order to perform CFD simulations aiming at describing the thermo-fluid dynamic behavior of methane. The results in terms of convective heat transfer coefficients have been taken into account as inputs for the thermo-structural simulations on the most critical sections of the cooling jacket. The thermo-structural activity has been conducted on the demonstrator by means of a Finite Element Method code taking into account the visco-plastic behavior of the adopted materials. In particular, transient thermal analyses and static structural analyses have been performed using ANSYS code on a 2-D model. These analyses have demonstrated that the cooling jacket can withstand the design goal of 5 thermo-mechanical cycles with a safety factor equal to 4 considering a firing time equal to 30 seconds.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME



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