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15/11/2017 Rocket Propulsion Systems | Rocket Engine Work | Rocket Engine Thrust | Mechanical Engineering

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ROCKET ENGINE WORK | ROCKET
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September 22, 2017 admin Leave a comment

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Rocket propulsion Systems

A rocket engine is defined as an engine that expands


thrust by ejecting a stream of matter (i.e. exhaust gas)
backwards. Since the reaction (i.e. thrust force)
principle involved assumes a self enclosed supply of

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15/11/2017 Rocket Propulsion Systems | Rocket Engine Work | Rocket Engine Thrust | Mechanical Engineering

energy. A rocket engine can operate in any medium


including space (i.e. Outside the earths atmosphere),
where there is no oxygen to support combustion.

Rocket Engine work

The working principles of rocket engines are primarily


governed by Newtons law of motion. Newtons first
law states that there is no change in the motion of
body unless a resultant force acts on it. The governing
action such as gravitational force, lift force, drag force
and the thrust force of the rocket engine all proceed
on the vehicle to cause the resultant motion. The net
amount of the resultant force and its directions
decide the acceleration on the vehicle and the path of
the flight trajectory, in accordance with Newtons
second law.

Rocket Engine Thrust


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15/11/2017 Rocket Propulsion Systems | Rocket Engine Work | Rocket Engine Thrust | Mechanical Engineering

A rocket engine develops its thrust by ejecting a mass


backward. The mass is accelerated backward by
combustion that accelerates its velocity from 0 to
1000 m/s. The Newtons Second law states that, the
force for this acceleration is proportional to the mass
of the exhaust gases. The force acting on the
accelerating mass and the resultant exhaust gases,
produce a thrust in accordance with Newtons third
law, which states that for every action, there is an
equal and opposite reaction. So the thrust force in the
rocket engine is developed by internal fluids within
the rocket which accelerates equal but opposite
external force.

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The force vector (i.e. thrust), can be determined by


investigating the change of momentum in the design
and the sum of the forces that act on a closed duct in
a control volume. The internal flow to the rocket
experiences a change of momentum that is equal to
the mass flow rate and the change in velocity of the
gases. When the inlet velocity is low the change in
momentum considered as negligible.

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Force of a Rocket:

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15/11/2017 Rocket Propulsion Systems | Rocket Engine Work | Rocket Engine Thrust | Mechanical Engineering

The sum of all pressures on the surfaces


perpendicular to the flow axis of the device reduces
to a resultant force. Due to the pressure differential
between the pressure at the nozzle exit plane and the
ambient pressure that acts on the exit area of the
nozzle.

Net pressure force = (Pexit P ambient) A exit

The sum of the forces that acts on a rocket is equal to


the change of momentum in accordance with
Newtons second law.

Thrust = m Vexit + (Pexit Pambient) A exit

When Pexit equals Pambient expansion is


optimum and performance is good.
When the nozzle exit pressure is less than
ambient, the nozzle is said to be over-expanded.
When exit pressure is greater than ambient,
the nozzle is said to be under-expanded.

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Generally the rocket flies through the atmosphere; it


experiences variations in the ambient pressure. So it
operates at optimum expansion at only one altitude.
Resultant design and flight conditions based on the
rocket exit areas in different altitudes.

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