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cooling of

liquid rocket

engine thrust

chambers

Marco Pizzarelli

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 1 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers

Outline:

**• Thrust chamber environment (basics)
**

• Convective heat transfer (fundaments)

• Heat transfer characterization:

• hot-gas side

• coolant side

• wall conduction

• Steady-state heat transfer

• Thermo-mechanical characterization

• Different thrust chamber designs

• Overview of advanced concepts

• Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 2 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers

Thrust chamber

environment (basics)

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 3 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

A nozzle extension is added to achieve the desired hot gas expansion Vulcain thrust chamber ASI UNCLASSIFIED . which in turn are accelerated and ejected at a high velocity to impart a thrust force A thrust chamber has three major parts: • an injector (that introduce the propellant into chamber) • a combustion chamber (where the propellants burn creating a hot gas) • a nozzle (where the hot gas is accelerated to supersonic velocities) In large liquid-propellant rocket engines the thrust chamber is limited to the initial supersonic part of the nozzle (area ratio below 10). mixed. Thrust chamber environment (basics) A liquid rocket engine thrust chamber is the combustion device where the liquid propellants are injected. and burned to form hot gaseous reaction products. atomized.pag 4 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

/ : temperature of the combustion products • 𝔐: molecular mass of the combustion products Combustion temperatures of rocket propellants are generally higher than the melting points of common metal alloys and refractory materials (up to 𝟑𝟔𝟎𝟎 K) From (2) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Thrust chamber environment (basics) The increase of the combustion temperature improves the rocket engine specific impulse 𝐼"# : 𝑻𝟎𝒈 𝑰𝒔𝒑 ~ 𝕸 where • 𝑇.pag 5 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

the temperature where a material loses 60 to 75% of its room temperature strength is often selected as the maximum allowable wall temperature. For rocket engine applications. so that the wall material is strong enough to withstand the stresses imposed by the fluid pressure. and other loads Measurements of static stress to cause rupture after 100 hours (typically the “stress to density ratio” is the relevant variable) (1) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . This temperature is well below the material melting point Enough heat has to be absorbed to keep these walls at a sufficiently low temperature. thermal gradients. Thrust chamber environment (basics) The strength of most materials declines rapidly at high temperatures.pag 6 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

pag 7 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana ./ the smaller the engine Higher 𝒑𝟎𝒈 is linked with higher combustion-gas mass flow rate per unit area of chamber cross section and therefore with higher heat transfer rate Thrust coefficient 𝑪𝒇 versus nozzle area ratio (note: 𝑰𝒔𝒑 ~𝑪𝒇 ) (2) ASI UNCLASSIFIED ./ the larger the specific impulse 𝐼"# • when operating in vacuum the larger 𝑝. for a given nozzle area ratio: • when operating in the atmosphere the larger 𝑝. Thrust chamber environment (basics) Combustion chamber pressure 𝒑𝟎𝒈 in rocket engines is “high” (up to 250 bar) mainly because.

Thrust chamber environment (basics) Combustion chamber temperature and pressures are “high” Necessity to: • cool the wall to a temperature considerably below its maximum allowable temperature (i.pag 8 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Consequently. thermal gradients. and other loads.. much below the combustion temperature) or to stop operation before the wall becomes too hot • use high strength materials (the thickness. of the thrust chamber wall depends strongly on the stresses it can support) Rocket engine cooling is necessary for strength considerations.e. enough heat has to be absorbed to keep the walls at a sufficiently low temperature. the design of a thrust chamber is mainly a thermo- mechanical problem that requires a proper characterization of the heat transfer and the mechanical loads ASI UNCLASSIFIED . In fact. so that the wall material is strong enough to withstand the stresses imposed by the fluid pressure. therefore the mass.

The fuel or the oxidizer is used as a coolant flowing in such tubes before it is injected in the combustion chamber. Thrust chamber environment (basics) Regenerative cooling: the walls of large liquid-propellant rocket engines (that are always bi-propellant rockets) usually consist of an array of suitably shaped tubes machined or brazed together to form the thrust chamber. This method is called regenerative cooling because of the similarity to steam regenerators RL-10 cutaway ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 9 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

t.g. increasing the exhaust velocity slightly (0. where the wall- surface-to-chamber volume ratio is relatively large • Generally the fuel is used as coolant because of the tube wall oxidization concern if oxidizer is used as coolant ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Aestus uses mono-methyl-hydrazine as coolant) Aestus thrust chamber • In regenerative cooling the heat absorbed by the coolant is not wasted.5%) and most noticeably in small thrust chambers. which requires sufficient pressure to force the coolant through the cooling passages. in this case a sufficiently large pressure drop is usually available for chamber cooling (w. However there are examples of pressure-fed engines that are regeneratively cooled (e. it augments the initial energy content of the propellant prior to injection. This availability permits the use of regenerative cooling.pag 10 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .r. Thrust chamber environment (basics) Notes on regenerative cooling: • This cooling technique mainly applies in mid-to-high thrust levels because the heat flux to the chamber walls increases as the hot-gas mass flow rate (and thus the thrust) increases • Large liquid propellant rocket engines are usually turbopump-fed engines. pressure-fed engines).1 to 1..

In fact. Thrust chamber environment (basics) From a thermal point of view. regenerative cooling consists of the steady flow of heat from a hot gas through a solid wall to a cool fluid. the heat from the combustion gases conducts through the walls –mainly in the radial direction.and is convected away by the fluid flowing in the cooling channels Such problem can be reduced to a one-dimensional cooling jacket model (ignoring the heat transfer through the walls that separate the coolant passages) Typical configuration (1) One dimensional model (1) ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 11 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers

**Convective heat transfer
**

(fundaments)

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 12 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

**Convective heat transfer (fundaments)
**

In liquid rocket engines the most relevant heat transfer mechanisms is the forced convection

**Convection: conduction enhanced by motion of the fluid
**

Forced convection: the fluid motion is generated by an external device (e.g., a pump)

From (1) 𝒬

**̇ or 𝑞> : wall heat transfer rate per unit area (or wall heat flux) [W/m2]
**

Velocity boundary layer (δ): large velocity gradients

Thermal boundary layer (δT ): large temperature gradients

𝜇𝑐E δ

𝑃𝑟 = =𝑓 (experimental evidence)

𝑘 δT

In most situations: δ~δT (hence Pr~1)

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 13 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

**Convective heat transfer (fundaments)
**

The governing equations for steady, two-dimensional, incompressible flow with constant

properties and under the Prandtl’s hypothesis (thin boundary layer):

𝜕𝑢 𝜕𝑣

+ =0

𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦

𝜕𝑢 𝜕𝑢 1 𝑑𝑝 𝜕c𝑢

𝑢 +𝑣 =− +𝜐 c

𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜌 𝑑𝑥 𝜕𝑦

c

𝜕ℎ 𝜕ℎ 𝑑𝑝 𝜕c𝑇 𝜕𝑢

𝜌𝑢 + 𝜌𝑣 =𝑢 +𝑘 c+𝜇

𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝑑𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦

where:
𝑥

: direction parallel to the wall (velocity component 𝑢)
𝑦

: direction normal to the wall (velocity component 𝑣)
𝜌

, 𝑝, 𝑇 : density, pressure and temperature

ℎ : specific enthalpy [J/K]
𝜇

: dynamic viscosity [Pa s]
𝜐

= 𝜇/𝜌 : kinematic viscosity [m2/s]
𝑘

: thermal conductivity [W/(m K)]

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 14 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

𝑑ℎ = 𝑐 d𝑇 + d𝑝) it becomes: x c 𝜕𝑇 𝜕𝑇 𝜕 𝑇 𝑢 +𝑣 =𝛼 c 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 ASI UNCLASSIFIED .g.e. Convective heat transfer (fundaments) Simplifications of the energy equation: c 𝜕ℎ 𝜕ℎ 𝑑𝑝 𝜕c𝑇 𝜕𝑢 𝜌𝑢 + 𝜌𝑣 =𝑢 +𝑘 c+𝜇 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝑑𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 st c • the viscous dissipation 𝜇 can be generally neglected (because of the low fluid velocity) su • in case of calorically perfect gas (i..pag 15 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .e. ℎ = 𝑐E 𝑇) and no axial pressure gradient (e... flat plate) it becomes: 𝜕𝑇 𝜕𝑇 𝜕c𝑇 𝑢 +𝑣 =𝛼 c 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 where 𝛼 = 𝑘/𝜌𝑐E is the thermal diffusivity [m /s] 2 w • in case of an incompressible fluid (i.

Convective heat transfer (fundaments) In case of no axial pressure gradients (i. 𝑦 → ∞) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . 𝑦 = 0) 𝑢y = 𝑇 y = 1 outside the boundary layer (i.e..e. flat plate) the momentum and energy equations becomes: 𝜕𝑢 𝜕𝑢 𝜕c𝑢 𝑢 +𝑣 =𝜐 c 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑇 𝜕𝑇 𝜕c𝑇 𝑢 +𝑣 =𝛼 c 𝜕𝑥 𝜕𝑦 𝜕𝑦 • These equations are equal if: 𝜐 𝜇𝑐E 𝑃𝑟 = = =1 𝛼 𝑘 (most gases have 𝑃𝑟~1) • Same solutions are possible introducing variables that have same boundary conditions: t {|{} 𝑢y = and 𝑇 y = z {~ |{} with 𝑢y = 𝑇 y = 0 at wall (i..e..pag 16 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

„z In other terms: 𝒒𝒘 = 𝒉𝒄 𝑻𝒘 − 𝑻… where 𝒉𝒄 is the heat transfer coefficient and 𝑻𝒘 − 𝑻… is the driving potential ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Convective heat transfer (fundaments) Same profiles of 𝑢y and 𝑇 y lead to: ({~ |{} ) • 𝑢y = 𝑇 y → 𝑇(𝑦) = 𝑇> + 𝑢(𝑦) z st • wall shear stress: 𝜏> = 𝜇 su > s{ {} |{~ st • wall heat flux: 𝑞> = −𝑘 = −𝑘 su > z su > ‚ƒ} Combining the above relations: 𝑞> = 𝑇> − 𝑇… .pag 17 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

Convective heat transfer (fundaments) From the definition of 𝜏> and 𝑞> : 𝜕𝑢 𝑈 𝜏> = 𝜇 ≈𝜇 𝜕𝑦 > δ 𝜕𝑇 𝑇> − 𝑇… 𝑞> = −𝑘 ≈𝑘 𝜕𝑦 > δT Hence: 𝑘𝜏> 𝑘 𝑘 ℎ• = ≈ ≈ (δ ≈ δT if 𝑃𝑟 ≈ 1) 𝜇𝑈 δ δT Note that: • the convective heat transfer coefficient does not depend on the wall temperature • where the boundary layer thickness is minimum.pag 18 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . the heat transfer coefficient is maximum ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

Convective heat transfer (fundaments) Relevant non-dimensional numbers: • Skin friction coefficient 𝜏> 𝐶• = 1 c 𝜌𝑈 2 • Nusselt number ℎ• 𝑥 𝑁𝑢‘ = 𝑘 • Reynolds number 𝜌𝑈𝑥 𝑅𝑒‘ = 𝜇 ‚ƒ} Rearranging the relation ℎ• = we obtain the Reynold’s analogy (flat plate): „z 1 𝑁𝑢‘ = 𝐶• 𝑅𝑒‘ 2 In case of 𝑃𝑟 ≠ 1 and turbulent flow (Colburn’s analogy): 1 𝑁𝑢‘ = 𝐶• 𝑅𝑒‘ 𝑃𝑟w/• 2 ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 19 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

G: mass flux [kg/(s m2)].e..pag 20 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Convective heat transfer (fundaments) In case of pipe (i. 𝑚̇: mass flow rate [kg/s]) • Nusselt number ℎ• 𝐷 𝑁𝑢 = 𝑘 • Mass flux: 1 𝐺 = £ 𝜌 𝒖 ¤ 𝒏 d𝐴 𝐴 ¦ ASI UNCLASSIFIED . axial pressure gradients) the Colburn’s analogy for turbulent flow is still valid: 𝟏 𝑵𝒖 = 𝑪𝒇 𝑹𝒆 𝑷𝒓𝟏/𝟑 𝟐 where: • Reynolds number 𝐺𝐷 𝑚̇𝐷 𝑅𝑒 = = 𝜇 𝜇𝐴 (𝐷: pipe diameter.

𝟎𝟐𝟑 𝑹𝒆𝟎.c This yields to: 𝑵𝒖 = 𝟎.𝟑𝟑 This expression. is useful in a fairly wide range of pressure gradients Surface roughness can have a large effect on the friction and heat transfer (that is..046 𝐶• = 𝑅𝑒 . Convective heat transfer (fundaments) For a smooth pipe with turbulent flow having 3 ¤ 10¨ < 𝑅𝑒 < 10ª : 0. increasing of both 𝐶• and 𝑁𝑢) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . often referred to as “Dittus Boelter equation”.𝟖 𝑷𝒓𝟎.pag 21 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 22 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side The hot gas flow is essentially a boundary layer flow In the actual hot gases expansion within the thrust chamber. reaching a minimum at the throat of the nozzle expected maximum convective heat transfer ‚ rate at the throat (ℎ/ ≈ ) From (1) δ Note: Boundary layer is affected by wall curvature. the boundary layer thickness at the throat does not strongly depend on the boundary layer “history” (in the injection region) Moreover. axial pressure gradients. the boundary layer thickness may decrease in the flow direction (due to steep axial pressure gradients). however the approach used for the flat plate and tubes is fairly valid (especially after the throat.pag 23 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . and normal pressure gradients. that can be treated as a leading edge: δ®¯°±²® = 0) ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

e.. high flow velocity and 𝑃𝑟 ≠ 1) can be modeled as: 𝒒𝒈 = 𝒉𝒈 𝑻𝒘𝒂 − 𝑻𝒘𝒉 where: • 𝑞/ is the convective heat flux • ℎ/ is the heat transfer coefficient • 𝑇>´ − 𝑇>µ is the driving potential • 𝑇>´ is the adiabatic wall temperature • 𝑇>µ is the hot gas side wall temperature Note that: • one dimensional isentropic flow modeling is assumed for the hot-gas flow • the hot-gas flow in a thrust chamber can be still assimilated to a boundary layer problem and thus 𝒉𝒈 is only a weak function of the wall temperature • in case of high velocity.pag 24 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side The turbulent convective hot-gas side heat transfer in the actual condition (i. the driving potential is not based on the free stream temperature but on the adiabatic wall temperature ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

pag 25 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .9 and in case of turbulent flow with P𝑟~1 it is often approximated as: 𝑟 = 𝑃𝑟w/• ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Its deviation from the stagnation temperature of the free stream is evaluated by the recovery factor 𝑟: 𝑻𝒘𝒂 − 𝑻𝒈 𝒓= 𝑻𝟎𝒈 − 𝑻𝒈 where • 𝑇/ is the free stream temperature • 𝑇./ is the free stream stagnation temperature From (1) • the recovery factor is typically 𝑟~0. Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side The adiabatic wall temperature is the temperature that would be attained at wall in case of adiabatic condition: 𝑞/ = 0.

7 • 𝑇>´ = 0. Since this would lead to local overheating and failure of the wall.2 (𝛿̅ = 0. the combustion temperature) • in case of adiabatic condition the flow at wall almost reaches the combustion temperature • if the wall has a flow obstruction or a wall protrusion. γ= .93𝑇. Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side {·¸ ¼|w •¾ Since = 1 + 𝛿̅𝑀c (where 𝛿̅ = ./ if M < 0. then the kinetic gas energy is locally converted back into thermal energy essentially equal to the stagnation temperature and pressure of the combustion chamber./ 1 + 𝛿 ̅𝑀 c Note: for 𝑟 = 0..1): • 𝑇>´ ≈ 𝑇.9 and 𝛾 = 1. rocket engine inner walls have to be smooth ASI UNCLASSIFIED ./ if M = 5 This highlights that: • the adiabatic wall temperature is essentially equal to the free stream stagnation temperature (i.pag 26 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . and M is the free stream Mach number): {¸ c •¿ 𝑇>´ 𝑇>´ 1 + 𝑟𝛿̅𝑀c = 1 + 𝑟𝛿̅𝑀 or c = 𝑇/ 𝑇.e.

Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side Many (although sometimes more complicated) correlations for the Nusselt number similar to the Dittus Boelter equation (𝑁𝑢 = 0.pag 27 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana ..c = 0. 𝐴 𝑘 . where: • the subscript “0” refers to properties evaluated at the combustion temperature • the subscript “am” refers to properties evaluated at the average temperature between the wall and the free stream temperature • 𝜌′ is the free-stream value of the local gas density ASI UNCLASSIFIED ...g.. 𝜌′ 𝜇..Â 𝑃𝑟 .Â ℎ/ 𝐷 𝑚̇𝐷 𝜇𝑐E . the average value between the wall and the free stream temperature) The most known correlation is the one proposed by Bartz (1955): ..•• ) are presented in the literature Almost all the proposed correlations are based on the assumption that 𝑁𝑢~ 𝑅𝑒 .¨ 𝜌´Å 𝜇´Å .023 𝑅𝑒 .Â and can be applied to determine (at best) within about ±𝟐𝟎% the convective heat transfer The fluid properties can be evaluated at local bulk temperature or at a given “film temperature” (e..026 𝑘. 𝜇.

**Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side
**

Since

SSME-MCC heat transfer coefficient (3)

𝑵𝒖~ 𝑹𝒆𝟎,𝟖

where

𝑚̇

𝑅𝑒~𝐺𝐷~

𝐷

(𝑚̇ = 𝐺𝐴 is the hot gas mass flow rate, which is

constant through the thrust chamber in case of

steady state conditions)

the hot gas side heat transfer coefficient is:

𝒎̇𝟎,𝟖

𝒉𝒈 ~ 𝟏,𝟖

𝑫 throat section

For a given mass flow rate, the maximum heat

transfer coefficient occurs at the throat of the

thrust chamber (experimentally, the maximum

ℎ/ is observed slightly upstream because of

variable flow properties)

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 28 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

**Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side
**

The mass flow rate in a chocked thrust chamber (i.e., M = 1 at the throat) is:

𝒑𝟎𝒈 𝑨𝒕

𝒎̇ = 𝜞

𝑹𝑻𝟎𝒈

where

• 𝑝./ is the stagnation pressure at the throat

(it is assumed that the flow is isentropic and thus the stagnation pressure is constant all along

the thrust chamber → 𝑝./ is the chamber pressure)

• 𝑇./ is the stagnation temperature at the throat

(it is assumed that the flow is adiabatic and thus the stagnation temperature is constant all

along the thrust chamber → 𝑇./ is the chamber temperature)

ÐÑÒ

ÎÏw |Ó ÐÔÒ

• 𝐴Ì is the throat area, 𝑅 is the hot gas constant, and Γ = γ is a fluid constant

c

•¾

weakly depending on γ = . For γ = 1.2 → Γ ≃ 0,65

•¿

Thus, the hot gas side heat transfer coefficient can be expressed as:

.,Â .,×

𝑝./ 𝐴Ì

ℎ/ ~ .,c

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 29 𝐷Ì 𝐴 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

**Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side
**

The expression:

𝒑𝟎,𝟖

𝟎𝒈 𝑨𝒕

𝟎,𝟗

𝒉𝒈 ~ 𝟎,𝟐

𝑫𝒕 𝑨

highlights that:

• the cooling requirement increases rather rapidly with increasing chamber pressure

• the cooling requirement increases with decreasing thrust chamber dimension

• the maximum heat transfer coefficient occurs at the throat of the thrust chamber

• scale laws can be used to characterize the hot gas side heat transfer

ASI UNCLASSIFIED - pag 30 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana

polyatomic gases radiate more strongly than diatomic gases) The radiant power from hot gas to a “unit area” wall can be modeled as: 𝒒𝒓 = 𝝐𝒈 𝝈 𝑻𝟒𝒈 where • 𝜖/ is the gas emissivity (non-dimensional < 1).pag 31 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .6697 ¤ 10|Â W/mc K ¨ ) • 𝑇/ is the gas temperature ASI UNCLASSIFIED . The most important radiating gases from common propellants are CO2. etc. far from the “blackbody” emission spectrum). H2O.e. Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side Radiative heat transfer The heat transfer rate to the thrust chamber walls can be augmented by the hot gas energy radiation Gases do not radiate over a continuous spectrum of wavelengths but rather over discrete “bands” (i. it is a complex function of the gas properties and 𝜖/ = 1 in the case of “blackbody” emission • 𝜎 is the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (𝜎 = 5. (in general. CO.. gases absorb radiation as they radiate it. Moreover.

CO are all in the infrared region) Generally. the particles radiate over a continuous spectrum of the wavelengths (i. In this case. 𝑞à = 𝜖/ 𝜎 𝑇/¨ approximately represents the net radiant heat flux to the wall In general. these may appreciably contribute to the emitted radiant energy.. from 5% to 35% of the total heat transfer ASI UNCLASSIFIED . radiative heat transfer in rocket thrust chamber is generally modest (especially in the absence of solid particles). pressure and chamber throat diameter If the gases contain solid or liquid particles. radiative heat flux increases with increasing temperature. luminous flames in contrast to the non-sooty flames that radiate very little in the visible region of the spectrum because the emitting bands of CO2.e.pag 32 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . H2O. Heat transfer characterization: hot-gas side The wall is usually assumed to absorb all the incident radiation (like a “blackbody”) while reradiating negligible energy because 𝑇>/ ≪ 𝑇/ Hence.

Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Heat transfer characterization: coolant side ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 33 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

. 𝑘.pag 34 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . the fluid properties (𝜇. the convective heat transfer rate to the coolant can be modeled as: Cooling jacket schematic (cross section) 𝒒𝑳 = 𝒉𝑳 𝑻𝒘𝒄 − 𝑻𝑳 where: • ℎâ : coolant heat transfer coefficient [W/(K m2)] • 𝑇>• : coolant-side wall temperature • 𝑇â : coolant free stream temperature Detail of the one dimensional model Note: in case of pipe flow (i. Finally. and 𝑐E ) are evaluated at such average temperature. considering the coolant flowing in a number of tubes that constitute the thrust chamber) 𝑇â represents the average coolant temperature (bulk temperature) instead the free-stream temperature. In this case.e. Heat transfer characterization: coolant side Assuming a one-dimensional cooling jacket model with low fluid velocity. if the pipe cross section is not circular. the hydraulic diameter is used in the formulas ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

This large difference is due to the fact that the combustion is a much more energetic phenomenon than convective heat transfer ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Heat transfer characterization: coolant side The bulk temperature of the coolant increases from the point of entry until it leaves the cooling passages.pag 35 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . as a function of the heat absorbed and of the coolant flowrate. The heat of combustion can be of the order of 100 MJ per kg of fuel while ∆𝐻â can be of the order of 1 MJ/kg. as imposed by the energy balance equation: 𝑸𝑳 = 𝒎̇𝑳 ∆𝑯𝑳 = 𝒎̇𝑳 𝒄𝒑𝑳 ∆𝑻𝑳 where: • 𝑄â : wall heat transfer rate entering the coolant [W] • 𝑚̇â : coolant mass flow rate [kg/s] • ∆𝐻â : coolant bulk enthalpy increase in the cooling circuit [J/kg] • ∆𝑇â : coolant bulk temperature increase in the cooling circuit [K] • 𝑐Eâ : coolant specific heat (assumed constant or a proper average value) [J/(kg K)] Note that in the energy equation the assumption of low velocity has been made and thus the stagnation and the static conditions are equal None of the common propellants can absorb more than a few percentage of the heat of combustion (without vaporizing or decomposing and thus becoming unsuitable as coolants).

the coolant pressure drop must be properly regulated because higher pressure drop allows a higher coolant velocity in the cooling channel (and thus a better cooling). Of course. the inner surface of cooling passages should be smooth and clean The pressure drop ∆𝑝 in a channel of length L. diameter 𝐷 and without concentrated pressure loss can be evaluated as follows: 𝐺 c 𝑓𝐿 ∆𝑝 = ¤ 2𝜌 𝐷 where • 𝑓: friction factor coefficient (it is mainly a function of 𝑅𝑒 and relative surface roughness) • 𝐺: coolant mass flux • 𝜌: coolant density ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Heat transfer characterization: coolant side Notes on coolant pressure drop Provided that the coolant remains chemically stable.pag 36 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . but requires a heavier feed system. abrupt change of flow direction and sudden expansion or contraction of flow areas should be avoided. Moreover. which increases the engine mass and thus also the total inert vehicle mass In order to limit the coolant pressure drop. the cooling system should be designed so that the fluid absorbs all possible heat transferred from the hot-gas.

) fed from a turbopump.) 𝑝• = 147 bar and 𝑇• = 652 K • Nitrogen tetroxide (liquid or sup. pres. pres. pres. particularly those • Hydrogen (sup.) 𝑝• = 20 bar and 𝑇• = 678 K Note: in most systems. pres. Heat transfer characterization: coolant side Typical rocket coolants operate in different thermodynamic regimes that can have a remarkable influence on the cooling performances Some examples and their typical state in the cooling circuit with respect to the critical point 𝑝• and 𝑇• : • Water (liquid) 𝑝• = 221 bar and 𝑇• = 647 K • Hydrazine (liquid or sup. the coolant 𝑝• = 13 bar and 𝑇• = 33 K pressure is supercritical ASI UNCLASSIFIED .) 𝑝• = 46 bar and 𝑇• = 190 K • Kerosene (sup. pres.) 𝑝• = 101 bar and 𝑇• = 431 K • Methane (sup.pag 37 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

often causing its melting 𝑇>• − 𝑇â ASI UNCLASSIFIED . different regimes in transferring heat can be recognized: • Forced convection (when 𝑝 < 𝑝• and 𝑇>• < 𝑇ëì or when 𝑝 > 𝑝• ) single phase heat transfer • Nucleate boiling 𝑝 (when 𝑝 < 𝑝• and 𝑇>• − 𝑇ëì ≲ 50K) small vapor bubbles causes local turbulence increase and ℎâ greatly increases • Film boiling (when 𝑝 < 𝑝• and 𝑇>• − 𝑇ëì ≳ 50K) From (2) a gaseous film insulates the wall.pag 38 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Heat transfer characterization: coolant side Depending on the coolant thermodynamic (especially with respect to the critical pressure 𝑝• and the boiling temperature 𝑇ëì -defined only if 𝑝 < 𝑝• ) and flow conditions.

Some examples: 𝑞ó²ô ñò • Hydrazine: 𝑞Å´‘ = 15 ÷ 30 Ó Å (𝑝• = 147 bar and 𝑇• = 652 K) ñò • Nitrogen tetroxide: 𝑞Å´‘ = 6 ÷ 11 ÅÓ (𝑝• = 101 bar and 𝑇• = 431 K) 𝑝 ñò • Kerosene: 𝑞Å´‘ = 2 ÷ 6 Ó Å (𝑝• = 20 bar and 𝑇• = 678 K) 𝑇>• − 𝑇â ASI UNCLASSIFIED . The maximum feasible heat transfer rate is referred to as 𝑞Å´‘ . It mostly depends on the fluid pressure and velocity. to achieve a good heat-absorbing capacity of the coolant.pag 39 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . the coolant flow velocity is selected so that boiling is permitted locally at wall but the bulk of the coolant does not reach this boiling condition. Heat transfer characterization: coolant side In case of subcritical pressure.

pag 40 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .𝟖 𝑷𝒓𝒂 Modification terms are typically added to take into account for: • entrance (increases ℎâ ) • non-circular cross section • wall to coolant temperature difference (generally decreases ℎâ ) • roughness (can greatly increases ℎâ ) (NASA) (NASA) • curvature (either increases or decreases ℎâ . Heat transfer characterization: coolant side Many semiempirical relations have been found to determine the coolant heat transfer in round tubes and for liquids far from boiling and supercritical fluids sufficiently far the from critical point. These correlation are typically of the “Dittus Boelter”-type and have a typical uncertainty of 20÷30%: 𝑵𝒖 = 𝑨 𝑹𝒆𝟎. depending on the curvature orientation) ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

pag 41 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Heat transfer characterization: wall conduction ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

the heat transfer through the solid wall is modeled by: 𝒌𝒘 Cooling jacket schematic (cross section) 𝒒𝒘 = (𝑻 − 𝑻𝒘𝒄 ) ∆𝑳 𝒘𝒉 where • 𝑘> : thermal conductivity of the wall material • ∆𝐿: wall thickness • 𝑇>µ is the hot gas side wall temperature • 𝑇>• : coolant-side wall temperature Detail of the one dimensional model ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 42 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Heat transfer characterization: wall conduction Assuming a one-dimensional cooling jacket model.

.e.pag 43 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Heat transfer characterization: wall conduction Realistic wall heat transfer Heat transfer in an actual rocket engine thrust chamber is far more coolant complicated than in a cooling jacket model because of the multi- dimensional heat transmission in the wall hot combustion gas Heat is transferred also through the walls that separate the coolant passages and thus also in the tangential direction The lateral walls may have the beneficial function of cooling fins (i. larger coolant-side heat transfer surface than hot-gas side heat transfer surface) Sketch of realistic heat transfer in a thrust chamber wall (2) ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

pag 44 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Steady-state heat transfer ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

Steady-state heat transfer For steady conditions and assuming a one-dimensional cooling jacket model.pag 45 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . the heat transfer balance is: 𝑞/ + 𝑞à = 𝑞> = 𝑞â where • 𝑞/ = ℎ/ 𝑇>´ − 𝑇>µ : convective hot-gas side heat flux • 𝑞à : radiative hot-gas side heat flux ‚} • 𝑞> = 𝑇>µ − 𝑇>• : conductive heat flux through the wall ∆𝐿 • 𝑞â = ℎâ 𝑇>• − 𝑇â : convective coolant-side heat flux ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

pag 46 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Steady-state heat transfer Combining the expressions of the heat fluxes: • The heat flux in the wall is: 𝒒𝒓 𝒒𝒘 = 𝑯 𝑻𝒘𝒂 − 𝑻𝑳 + 𝒉𝒈 where 𝐻 is the overall heat transfer coefficient: 𝟏 𝟏 ∆𝑳 𝟏 = + + 𝑯 𝒉𝒈 𝒌𝒘 𝒉𝑳 • The hot-gas side wall temperature is: 𝑻𝑳 + 𝜺𝑻𝒘𝒂 𝒒𝒓 𝑻𝒘𝒉 = + 𝟏+𝜺 𝒉𝒈 where: ∆𝑳 𝟏 𝜺 = 𝒉𝒈 + 𝒌𝒘 𝒉𝑳 ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

large thrust chambers have hundreds of tubes with dimensions of the order of few mm (or even less) To take into account the actual configuration.Â . Steady-state heat transfer The actual configuration is not one-dimensional because of the presence of an array of circular/rectangular cooling tubes. In fact. Note that since ℎâ ~ 1⁄𝐷w.pag 47 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . best cooling system consists of many small-diameter tubes. the one- dimensional model can be improved considering the “effective” areas through which the heat transfer passes: 𝑞/ + 𝑞à 𝐴/ = 𝑞> 𝐴> = 𝑞â 𝐴â where: • 𝐴/ : gas side area • 𝐴> : effective wall area • 𝐴â : effective coolant side area Note that 𝐴> and 𝐴â do not necessarily correspond to the geometric areas ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

provided that the coolant heat transfer coefficient and the wall thermal conductivity are replaced by the “equivalent” values: 𝐴â ℎây = ℎâ 𝐴/ y 𝐴> 𝑘> = 𝑘> 𝐴/ Note that. the equivalent values 𝒉y𝑳 and 𝒌y𝒘 are larger than the original one 𝒉𝑳 and 𝒌𝒘 Including this geometric effect implies a larger conductive heat flux 𝑞> and a lower hot gas side wall temperature 𝑇>µ ASI UNCLASSIFIED . since 𝐴â and 𝐴> are larger than 𝐴/ . Steady-state heat transfer The formulas of the conductive heat flux 𝑞> and the hot gas side wall temperature 𝑇>µ does not change.pag 48 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

If ∆𝑇>µ ~200 K (e. it results that the heat flux ∆ù¸ Typical heat transfer rate distribution of difference is only ~7%.g. This is because the inner wall temperature of a cooled thrust chamber must be kept so much lower than the than the combustion temperature that the differences in wall temperature cause only small differences in heat flux. a small thrust chamber (2) ù¸ ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 49 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . For this reason the cooling channels are often designed so that the coolant velocity is highest in this region by restricting the coolant passage cross section Note that the heat flux is practically independent of the wall temperature. In fact: ∆𝑞/ ∆𝑇>µ 𝑞/ = ℎ/ 𝑇>´ − 𝑇>µ ⟹ = 𝑞/ 𝑇>´ − 𝑇>µ Typical values can be 𝑇>´ ~3500K and 𝑇>/ ~700K (in the throat region). wall temperature variation due to highly different cooling mass flow rate). Steady-state heat transfer ñò ñò Typical heat flux in chemical rocket propulsion can vary from fractions of up to 160 (as ÅÓ ÅÓ in the throat region of the Space Shuttle Main Engine) The nozzle throat region has usually the highest heat-transfer intensity and is therefore the most difficult to cool..

the heat flux at the throat is: üý ¦ 𝒑𝟎.𝟐 𝒕 Finally..û E·¸ ¦ .Â 𝐢𝐟 𝒑𝒐𝒈 = 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝒕 and 𝑭 ↑ ⇛⇛⇛ 𝐴Ì = ↑.Â = ./ because higher 𝑝./ is linked with higher combustion-gas mass flow rate per unit area of chamber cross section and therefore with higher heat transfer coefficient: 𝐹 𝐹 𝒎̇𝒈 𝐢𝐟 𝐅 = 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝒕 and 𝒑𝒐𝒈 ↑ ⇛⇛⇛ 𝐴Ì = ↓. ℎ/Ì ↑ 𝐶ÿ 𝑝ì/ 𝐶ÿ 𝐶 ∗ 𝑨𝒕 Moreover. the heat flux slightly reduces. because the thrust is F = 𝐶ÿ 𝑝ì/ 𝐴Ì . increasing the engine thrust.× Since ℎ/ ~ ·. Steady-state heat transfer ·. This is due to the fact that larger engines have larger throat area and thus slightly smaller heat transfer coefficient: 𝐹 𝐹 𝒎̇𝒈 𝒑𝒐𝒈 𝑚̇/..𝟏 The peak heat flux (at the throat region) increases almost linearly with 𝑝.Ó ý and (in case of no radiation) 𝑞> ~ℎ/ . 𝑚̇/ = = 𝑐𝑜𝑠𝑡.𝟗 𝟎𝒈 𝒒𝒘𝒕 ~ 𝑭𝟎. 𝑮𝒕 = = ∗ = 𝒄𝒐𝒔𝒕. 𝑚̇/ = ↑.pag 50 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . 𝑮𝒕 = ↑ . comparing engines with equal thrust coefficient 𝐶ÿ gives F~𝑝ì/ 𝐷Ìc and thus: 𝒑𝟎.𝟖 𝟎𝒈 𝒒𝒘𝒕 ~ 𝑫𝟎. ℎ/Ì ~ w...w ↓ 𝐶ÿ 𝑝ì/ 𝐶ÿ 𝐶 ∗ 𝑨𝒕 𝑪 𝐷Ì 𝐴Ì ASI UNCLASSIFIED .Â 𝐺Ì.

w F where the parameter C depends on the adopted propellants. Steady-state heat transfer 𝒑𝟎..pag 51 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .× .𝟗 𝟎𝒈 The relation 𝒒𝒘𝒕 ~ implies that: 𝑭𝟎.𝟏 • the maximum allowable heat flux limits the chamber pressure and thus the engine performances • cooling is relatively easier in large-thrust engines Different propellants have different heat transfer rates: p.4 q2® = C . Maximum heat flux versus chamber pressure and at different thrust levels of LOX/LH2 and LOX/RP-1 rocket engines (NASA) ASI UNCLASSIFIED ..

pag 52 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . or 𝑘> /∆𝐿 leads to an increase of the overall heat transfer coefficient 𝐻 w w ∆𝐿 w where = + + and thus of 𝑞> = 𝐻 𝑇>´ − 𝑇â 5 µ¸ ‚} µ6 ∆𝐿 w {6 Ï8{}9 • an increase of ℎ/ implies an increase of 𝜀 = ℎ/ + and thus of 𝑇>µ = while an ‚} µ6 wÏ8 increase of ℎâ or 𝑘> /∆𝐿 implies a decrease of 𝜀 (and thus of 𝑇>/ ) It is one of the major design goals to keep coefficient 𝒉𝒈 “low” and the coefficient 𝒉𝑳 and ∆𝑳 /𝒌𝒘 “high” in order to reduce the hot gas side wall temperature 𝑻𝒘𝒈 ASI UNCLASSIFIED . 𝒉𝑳 . or ℎâ . and 𝒌𝒘 /∆𝑳 on the wall heat flux 𝒒𝒘 and temperature 𝑻𝒘𝒉 : 𝒒𝒘 𝑻𝒘𝒉 𝒉𝒈 + + 𝒉𝑳 + - 𝒌𝒘 /∆𝑳 + - In fact: • an increase of ℎ/ . Steady-state heat transfer Effect of increasing the heat transfer parameters 𝒉𝒈 .

Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Thermo-mechanical characterization ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 53 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

the most severe thermal stresses can occur during the start. They also have to withstand a momentary ignition pressure surge or shock. when the hot gases cause thermal shock to the wall Issues to be taken into consideration about the selection of the thrust chamber materials: • The strength of the chamber wall against the thermal gradients and the high pressure in the cooling system (with respect to the hot-gas pressure) • The chemical resistance of the material to the low-velocity coolant on one side and to the high-velocity hot-gas on the other • The method of fabrication (metal forming and welding or machining. etc. flight accelerations. In particular. Thermo-mechanical characterization Occurrence of both static and dynamic loads • The walls of the thrust chambers are subjected to radial and axial loads from the chamber and coolant pressure. and thermal stresses. vibration.pag 54 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . casting.) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . often due to excessive propellant accumulation in the chamber (this surge can exceed the nominal chamber pressure) • The thermal stresses induced by the temperature difference across the wall are often the most severe stresses and a change in heat transfer or wall temperature distribution will affect the stresses in the wall.

pag 55 ∆𝑇 = Agenzia Spaziale Italiana 𝑘> . Thermo-mechanical characterization Estimation of the wall stress (static loads) Ignoring the walls that separate the coolant passages (i. The maximum (compressive) stress occurs at the hot-gas side and can be evaluated as: 𝑝•ì − 𝑝. assuming a one-dimensional cooling jacket model).. 𝑝•ì − 𝑝/ .e.<< Ìµ. according to the cooling jacket method. wall temperature difference in wall material is: 𝑞> ∆𝐿 ASI UNCLASSIFIED .àÅ´@ <Ìà. the wall material undergoes a combination of a constant compressive stress 𝑆E .<<=>. The thermal stress induce compression on the hot-gas side and expansion on the coolant side. and the thermal stress 𝑆Ì caused by the temperature gradient across the wall./ 𝑟 𝐸𝛼𝑞> ∆𝐿 𝑆= + ∆𝐿 2 1 − 𝜐 𝑘> •ìÅEà.<< where: • 𝑟: engine radius • ∆𝐿 : wall thickness • E: modulus of elasticity of the wall material • 𝛼: thermal expansion coefficient of wall material • 𝜐: Poisson’s ratio of the wall material • 𝑘> : thermal conductivity of the wall material Note that. <Ìà. caused by the pressure differential between the coolant and combustion gases.

× 𝑆Ì = ~𝑞> ∆𝐿~𝑝./ ∆𝐿 c w|G ‚} . Thermo-mechanical characterization At a given thrust level regenerative cooling is feasible only if the combustion pressure is below a limiting value 𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒎 𝟎𝒈 and for a given wall thickness ∆𝑳 𝒍𝒊𝒎 . The request for thin wall is more pronounced with increasing chamber pressure ASI UNCLASSIFIED .× (note that 𝑞> ~𝑝./ ~𝑝./ /𝐹 ....w ) (NASA) In other words: • the thicker the wall the more it supports the pressure load. These parameters are established by structural requirements to accommodate pressure and thermal stresses as well as by fabrication feasibility limits This limit arises because: • the pressure differential stress 𝑆E is proportional to: ECD |E·¸ à E·¸ 𝑆E = ~ ∆â ∆â (note that 𝑝•ì − 𝑝./ ) • the thermal stress 𝑆Ì is proportional to: EFù} ∆â . The request for thick wall is more pronounced with increasing chamber pressure • the thinner the wall the more it supports the thermal load.pag 56 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

copper alloys generally permit higher chamber pressure with wall thickness between 0. Thermal conductivity of copper alloys is 300-380 W/m K while of stainless steel is about 20 W/m K ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Thermo-mechanical characterization The limiting values of chamber pressure 𝒑𝒍𝒊𝒎𝟎𝒈 and wall thickness ∆𝑳 𝒍𝒊𝒎 are dependent on cooling system configuration and material properties (NASA) With respect to stainless steels.5 and 1mm (which is still feasible by means of milling technique because copper is a highly ductile material). Maximum allowed temperature is about 850K for high-performance copper alloys (such as CuAgZr) and 900K for stainless steel.pag 57 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . because copper would chemically react. copper alloys are an excellent choice but for propellant combinations with corrosive or aggressive oxidizers (nitric acid or nitrogen tetroxide) stainless steel is often used as the inner wall material. For this reason.

Thermo-mechanical characterization Note that the copper alloys led to “high” value of 𝑘> /∆𝐿. considering typical values of the thermal conductivity and wall thickness of copper alloys structures.pag 58 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . ℎâ ∆𝐿 ∆𝐿 then: w w ∆𝐿 w w w • = + + ≈ + ↓ 5 µ¸ ‚} µ6 µ¸ µ6 • 𝑞> = 𝐻 𝑇>´ − 𝑇â ↑ ∆𝐿 w µ¸ • 𝜀 = ℎ/ + ≈ ↓ ‚} µ6 µ6 {6 Ï8{}9 • 𝑇>µ = ↓ wÏ8 ∆𝐿 ∆𝐿 • 𝑇>µ − 𝑇>• = 𝑞> = 𝐻 𝑇>´ − 𝑇â ↓ ‚} ‚} EFù} ∆â EF({}L |{}C ) • 𝑆Ì = = ↓ c w|G ‚} c w|G ASI UNCLASSIFIED . ℎâ ~10• ÷ 10H W/m2K. This leads to: • higher wall heat flux 𝑞> • lower hot gas side wall temperature 𝑻𝒘𝒉 • lower temperature difference in the wall 𝑇>µ − 𝑇>• • lower thermal stress 𝑺𝒕 In fact: ‚ ‚ • increasing } under the hypothesis } ≫ ℎ/ . In fact. 𝑘> /∆𝐿~10H ÷ 10ª W/m2K whereas the hot gas and coolant side heat transfer coefficients are ℎ/ . which is beneficial for the heat transfer.

pag 59 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Different thrust chamber designs ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

The primary advantage of this design is its light weight (because of the use of high strength materials) and the large gained experience in US (e. F-1. RL-10.. Different thrust chamber designs Different fabrication techniques: tubular-wall design Tubular wall without outer shell (NASA) Tubular wall with outer shell (2) This type of cooling system is made of singularly formed tapered tubes (to reduce the tube area in the throat region) that are brazed together.2 mm can be realized because of the relative strength of these materials). Tube cross section can be circular or not. Inconel.pag 60 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . 𝒑𝟎𝒈 < 𝟏𝟎𝟎 bar)..(low thermal conductivity materials) with relative small thickness (even 0. this design is limited to relatively low heat flux (i.g.g. This construction technique generally imposes the use of stainless steel or nickel alloys –e. RS-27) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . J-2.e. Even if external bands of high- strength steel are generally added to contain the pressure loads.

25mm) (Inconel X-750./ ~40 bar SSME nozzle: 𝑝./ ~50 bar LE-5A: 𝑝./ ~50 bar F-1: 𝑝.pag 61 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . ∆𝐿Å=M ~0./ ~70 bar RL-10: 𝑝. Different thrust chamber designs Tubular-wall design used on relatively low chamber pressure thrust chambers or nozzle extensions H-1: 𝑝./ ~200 bar (stainless steel 347. ∆𝐿Å=M ~0./ ~20 ÷ 40 bar (stainless steel 347. ∆𝐿Å=M ~0.25mm) (nickel alloy) (stainless steel A-286) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . ∆𝐿Å=M ~0.46mm) (stainless steel 347.25mm) J-2: 𝑝.

this design can be used to extremely-high-heat-flux. Vulcain) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . and relatively small thickness (below 1mm). that is. having 𝒑𝟎𝒈 > 𝟏𝟎𝟎 bar (e. SSME-MCC. Consequently. Different thrust chamber designs Different fabrication techniques: channel-wall design Channel wall with rectangular tubes (2) This type of cooling system is realized by machining (typically milling) rectangular grooves of variable width and depth into the surface of a relatively thick contoured high-conductivity chamber and nozzle wall liner. is adopted in all relatively high pressure thrust chambers.g.. that is more recent in US than tubular-wall. such as copper alloys. This design.pag 62 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . RS-68. an outer shell of nickel-alloy (high strength material) is added to enclose the coolant passages The advantage over the tubular-wall design is the possibility to use high-conductivity material for wall construction.

/ ~100 bar Aestus (note the liner made of steel instead of copper alloy): 𝑝.pag 63 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana ./ ~200 bar Vulcain: 𝑝./ ~11 bar ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Different thrust chamber designs Channel-wall design generally used on relatively high chamber pressure thrust chambers SSME-MCC: 𝑝./ ~100 bar Merlin 1C: 𝑝.

pag 64 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Tubes were brazed to each other and to a metal shell or hat-bands for stiffening. The result was a light-weight yet flexible structure which is strong and had good heat transfer characteristics (NASA) When the Space Shuttle Main Engine (SSME) began development. This dictated a channel-wall construction along with a copper alloy hot wall for high thermal conductivity ASI UNCLASSIFIED . it was apparent that the higher combustion chamber temperature and pressure required much stronger construction. as well as an extremely high heat transfer capability. Different thrust chamber designs Historical note on US thrust chambers First US thrust chambers (in the late 40s) were made using the welded. doublewall. the sheet metal configuration reached a limit: walls thin enough to maintain heat transfer would buckle. The answer in the United States was to go to a tubular configuration. whereas walls thick enough to resist buckling would have insufficient heat transfer. sheet metal configuration (like in the V2) in steel or nickel alloys When engines went to higher thrust levels.

pag 65 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Different thrust chamber designs Historical note on US thrust chambers The advancement of the US thrust chamber design has permitted to improve the maximum allowable heat flux (at the throat) and thus the chamber pressure channel wall design up to 160 MW/m2 (𝒑𝟎𝒈 = 𝟐𝟎𝟎 bar) disruptive tubular wall design improvement up to 35 MW/m2 (𝒑𝟎𝒈 = 𝟓𝟎 bar) sheet metal design up to 15 MW/m2 (𝒑𝟎𝒈 = 𝟕𝟎 bar) Rocket engines time evolution of the maximum throat heat flux (c) ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

Different thrust chamber designs Focus on SSME-MCC The Main Combustion Chamber of the Space Shuttle Main Engine is regeneratively cooled with hydrogen and has 390 coolant slots (430 in later versions) in the copper alloy (NARloy-Z. the slots are closed out with a thin layer of electrodeposited copper (as a hydrogen barrier) and then electrodeposited nickel (for strength) The channel-wall design of the SSME-MCC has demonstrated ability to withstand chamber pressure of more than 200 bar and throat heat-flux levels up to 160 MW/m2. At a nozzle expansion ratio of 5.pag 66 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . which is much more weight efficient than a channel-wall configuration at the lower heat flux SSME-MCC sketch (NASA) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . the chamber is attached to a tubular thin-wall nozzle composed of 1080 tubes. a copper-silver-zirconium alloy with significantly greater strength than pure copper but with only slightly lower thermal conductivity) liner.

Different thrust chamber designs Historical note on USSR thrust chambers In the Soviet Union. namely the sandwich wall design: the inner liner is made of copper-alloy. tubular-wall design has never been used and channel wall combustion chamber-nozzle configurations were used from the beginning.g. the nozzle extension or small chamber pressure engine) they often used a variation of the channel wall design. When the heat transfer rate is limited (e. a corrugated sheet metal is used as the divider and the outer shell can be made of steel.pag 67 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . The entire assembly is brazed and the corrugations provide flow passages for coolant circulation Sketch of the RD-107 engine: channel-wall design for the thrust RD-107 engine clearly showing chamber and sandwich-wall design for the nozzle extension (NASA) the copper alloy inner liner ASI UNCLASSIFIED . stainless steel or nickel-base alloy..

double pass • From 𝐴/𝐴Ì = 3 to 𝐴/𝐴Ì = 10: bifurcated tubular wall.4 ton • thrust-to-weight ratio: 94 • height: 5.8 m • diameter: 3.7 m Thrust chamber and nozzle extension: • Up to 𝐴/𝐴Ì = 3: tubular wall.pag 68 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .A. Different thrust chamber designs Moon race rocket engines: F-1 (first stage of Saturn V. to 356 Inconel X-750 tubes) • Isp (seal level): 263 s • exit to throat ratio: 16 • dry weight : 8. that brought 12 men on the moon) Main characteristics: • propellant: LOX /kerosene (RP-1) • cycle: gas-generator (open cycle) • chamber pressure: 70 bar • thrust (sea level): 677 ton (still the highest for a flown engine) Bifurcation joint (from 178 • throttle range: N. double pass Evident presence of soot • From 𝐴/𝐴Ì = 10 to 𝐴/𝐴Ì = 16: coming from the film cooling at ~900 K film cooling with turbine exhaust gas ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

pag 69 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .7 m • diameter: 2. Different thrust chamber designs Moon race rocket engines: NK-33 (first stage of N1.0 m Thrust chamber and nozzle extension: • channel-wall design for the thrust chamber and sandwich-wall design for the nozzle extension Note the absence of visible soot in the • copper alloy for the inner liner exhaust gas of the thrust chamber and stainless steel for the inner liner of the sandwich wall and the whole external jacket ASI UNCLASSIFIED .2 ton • thrust-to-weight ratio: 137 (one of the highest of all time) • height: 3. that collected only 4 failures) Main characteristics: • propellant: LOX /kerosene (Russian blend) • cycle: staged combustion (close cycle) • chamber pressure: 148 bar • thrust (sea level): 154 ton • throttle range: 50%-105% • Isp (seal level): 297 s • exit to throat ratio: 27 • dry weight 1.

the thermo-mechanical superiority of the channel/sandwich-wall design (and other peculiarities) of NK-33 permits to have about the same thrust of one F-1 using 4 x NK-33 and: • +110% chamber pressure • +34 s (+13%) Isp • -43% weight • -25% volume Clearly.pag 70 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . going to the moon is not just a matter of propulsion! ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Different thrust chamber designs Moon race rocket engines: F-1 vs NK-33 ≈ thrust The images are in scale With respect to the tubular-wall design of F-1 (not developed anymore).

pag 71 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Overview of advanced concepts: • Chemical stability of coolants • High aspect ratio cooling channels • Hot-gas side wall surface roughness • Hot-gas side wall oxidation • Different heat transfer mechanism in the face plate region • Hot gas side carbon deposition • Combustion instabilities • Thrust chamber life • Influence of the thrust chamber dimension on the cooling requirements • Methods of increasing the heat transfer parameters • Additional methods to reduce the wall heat flux • Heat transfer in nozzle extension • Heat transfer in gas-generators/preburners ASI UNCLASSIFIED .

has a high specific heat (low temperature gain in the cooling system). the heat transfer. mono-methyl-hydrazine (MMH) and unsymmetrical-di-methyl-hydrazine (UDMH). Overview of advanced concepts Chemical stability of coolants Several hydrocarbon fuels (such as RP-1) can form carbon deposits on the inside of cooling passages (coking).pag 72 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . can exothermically decompose at temperatures as low as 370 K in case of N2H4 and 490 K in case of UDMH and under some conditions this decomposition can be a violent detonation. and is chemically stable (it leaves no residues) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . and the chamber wall material. Hydrazine and its related components reacts with many materials: it is compatible with steels while copper alloys must be avoided Hydrogen is always supercritical in the channels and is an excellent coolant. while pure methane does not presents this problem when operated as rocket coolant RP-1 carbon deposition characterization (NASA) Hydrazine (N2H4) and its related compounds. This carbon formation depends on fuel temperature in the cooling passages. the particular fuel. Kerosene coking occurs at temperatures larger than 450 K. impeding the heat transfer and raising wall temperatures.

(NASA) The limits for the liner walls thickness are mainly given by the requirements of conventional milling tools.pag 73 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .5 mm are hardly Effect on cooling channel aspect ratio on wall temperature (ASTRIUM) achievable ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Overview of advanced concepts High aspect ratio cooling channels Channel wall design permits the Cut of the Vulcain construction of high aspect ratio thrust chamber wall cooling channels (height to base made of copper alloy liner and galvanic ratio up to 10) deposited Nickel outer shell (5) This geometry leads to a larger number of channels and longer fins and both effects will increase the cooling heat transfer area. To date thicknesses of less than 0.

pag 74 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . nozzle inner walls have to be smooth. if the nozzle inner wall has a flow obstruction or a wall protrusion. it is generally measured that hot-gas side surface roughness increases with chamber Typical SSME-MCC heating evolution with test run-time. Overview of advanced concepts Hot-gas side wall surface roughness Surface roughness can have a large effect on the heat transfer coefficient and thus on the wall heat flux (which can be increased by a factor up to 2) and wall temperature. In addition. and by coating certain wall materials with an oxidation-resistant coating ASI UNCLASSIFIED . then the kinetic gas energy is locally converted back into thermal energy essentially equal to the stagnation temperature and pressure in the combustion chamber. Since this would lead to local overheating and failure of the wall. The oxidation problem can be minimized not only by limiting the wall temperature. but also by burning the liquid propellants at a mixture ratio where the percentage of aggressive gases in the hot gas (such as oxygen) is very small.(NASA) may have dramatic consequences. In fact. Major surface roughness on the hot-gas side duration –up to 10% increase in 300 sec.. Hot-gas side wall oxidation Typical SSME-MCC hot spots (NASA) Since the rates of chemical oxidizing reactions between the hot gas and the wall material can increase dramatically with wall temperature. cooling also helps to reduce the oxidation of the wall material and the rate at which walls would be eaten away.

especially in the injector region. circumferential variations are present.pag 75 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Peaks of heat flux result in longitudinal discolorations (streaks) of the inner surface of the chamber after a firing Evidence of multi- dimensional environment (and also wall oxidation) in a combustion chamber (NASA) (NASA) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Major deviations generally affect the face plate region because each injector configuration produces different combustion characteristics. Overview of advanced concepts Different heat transfer mechanism in the face plate region Comparisons of analytical results with experimental heat transfer data obtained on rocket thrust chambers have often shown disagreement. This results in deviations from calculations based on the assumption of homogeneous product gases (as in the Bartz’s equations) In addition. assumption of purely radial heat flow has been made. In reality.

decreases with hot-gas velocity.ù =10+7000 ≈ 7000 cm2K/kW) and thus the hot-gas side wall temperature 𝑇>/ greatly increases (although the carbon deposit withstands higher temperatures than metal alloys and thus may protect the metal liner) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . and at chamber pressures larger than 140 bar carbon deposition is almost negligible The carbon deposit thermal resistance when 𝑝. the carbon gives the interior of the thrust chamber the appearance of being freshly painted black. Overview of advanced concepts Hot gas side carbon deposition In the case of the LOX/RP-1. The equivalent material thermal resistance is practically the one of the carbon deposit (∆𝐿 /𝑘> |.pag 76 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . After a firing. The carbon deposition has a low thermal conductivity. carbon solids are deposited on the chamber walls./ ~70 bar can (NASA) be as high as 7000 cm2K/kW while the material thermal resistance ∆𝐿 /𝑘> can be as low as (in case of copper alloy structure) 10 cm2K/kW.

Evidence of enhanced heat transfer and large shear stresses at the injector interface (AIAA-LPTC) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . they can very quickly cause excessive pressure vibration forces (which may break engine parts) or excessive heat transfer (which may melt thrust chamber parts). The high-frequency tangential modes appear to be the most damaging: heat transfer rates often increases 4 to 10 times and the pressure peaks are about twice as high as with stable operation. Overview of advanced concepts Combustion instabilities If combustion instabilities occur.pag 77 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

Overview of advanced concepts Thrust chamber life The thermal gradients (both transient and stationary) cause severe thermal strain and Throat section thus local yield point excess (i. such that the wall thins and thinned hot-gas the formation of progressive cracks after wall (NASA) successive runs is possible. plastic of SSME-MCC showing deformations). This limits the thrust chamber life and number of starts or temperature cycles of a thrust chamber Vulcain thrust chamber liner with typical longitudinal failures (5) (NASA) ASI UNCLASSIFIED ..pag 78 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .e.

metal alloys are subjected by: • reduction of the mechanical properties (i. or the yield strength limit) No existing materials combine good creep and fatigue properties at elevated temperatures and thus the strength of materials decreases with increasing temperatures ASI UNCLASSIFIED .. Overview of advanced concepts In particular. yield and ultimate tensile strengths and elasticity modulus) with temperature “NARloy Z” (CuAgZr) elasticity modulus ( NASA) “NARloy Z” (CuAgZr) yield and ultimate strengths ( NASA) • creep: plastic deformation under the influence of mechanical stresses (also below the yield strength of the material).e.e. creep is more severe in materials that are subjected to heat for long periods • fatigue: the weakening and damaging caused by repeatedly applied loads. The nominal maximum stress values that cause such damage may be much less than the strength of the material (i.. the ultimate tensile strength limit.pag 79 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

Overview of advanced concepts Aside the discussed static pressure and thermal stresses.. the thrust chamber material is exposed to additional loads which have an impact on the engine life: • mechanical loads such as pressure fluctuations or mechanical vibrations of various sources • high temperature fatigue (particularly relevant for restartable engine) • high temperature creep (particularly relevant for long firing) • chemical attack at the surface by OH or other radicals or a simple oxidation through exposure to oxygen rich gases • material weakening by hydrogen embrittlement Example: the SSME have a expected design life of 55 missions (i. In reality. the average achieved life is 7.3 missions and after 3-4 missions the engine is replaced for heavy maintenance.5 hr operation). 7. The great difference between expected and achieved life is also due to the actual thermo-mechanical environment ASI UNCLASSIFIED .e.pag 80 ( ASTRIUM) Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

pag 81 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . for constant chamber pressure 𝑝. the integrated heat flux over the entire inner surface is below 2% of the heat of combustion. In fact. the integrated wall heat flux) increases with 𝐷Ì.e.Â 𝐷Ì (note that the chamber length L is considered constant because the time required for complete combustion does not appreciably change with chamber dimension) This implies that: • cooling is relatively easier in large-thrust engines • the hypothesis of one dimensional adiabatic flow for the hot-gas is valid ASI UNCLASSIFIED ./ 𝑄â ~𝐿𝐷Ì 𝑞>Ì ~𝐿𝐷Ì . Overview of advanced concepts Influence of the thrust chamber dimension on the cooling requirements For a small rocket engine.e.Â ..c ~𝐷Ì./ .. increasing the thrust chamber dimension (i... increasing the throat diameter 𝐷Ì and thus the thrust F = 𝐶ÿ 𝑝..Â 𝑝../ 𝐴Ì ) implies that: • the heat of combustion 𝑄Q increases with 𝐷Ìc 𝑝. This percentage is smaller for larger rocket engines./ 𝐴Ì 𝑄Q ~𝑚̇/ = ∗ ~𝐷Ìc 𝐶 • the heat transfer rate absorbed by the coolant 𝑄â (i.

pag 82 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .Â Å̇6 ~Å̇¸ The coolant temperature gain is thus proportional to: 1 ∆𝑇â ~ 𝐷Ìw. this also suggests that expander cycle engines (where the larger the coolant temperature gain the larger the chamber pressure) are more efficient if the thrust is limited (small engines) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Moreover. the heat of combustion 𝑄Q and the heat transfer rate absorbed by the coolant 𝑄â can be expressed as: 𝑄Q ~𝑚̇/ and 𝑄Q ~𝐷Ìc 𝑄â = 𝑚̇â ¤ ∆𝐻â ~ 𝑚 Ṙ / ∆𝑇â and 𝑄â ~𝐷Ì. Overview of advanced concepts Moreover..c That is. This is important when the maximum permissive coolant temperature has to be limited (for kerosene carbon deposition at wall or for safety reasons with hydrazine). the larger the engine the smaller the temperature gain.

e.5 [ = 44.pag 83 {YcªH Z) {YHw Z) Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .5 bar originating from liquid oxygen and hydrogen at the mixture ratio O/F = 6 is 𝐻Q = 10.008𝑄Q 𝑠 𝑘𝑔 𝑘𝑔 .3 GW s kg (Italian average electric power consumption is ~ 40 𝐺𝑊) • the wall heat transfer rate entering the coolant (hydrogen) is: 𝑘𝑔 𝑘𝐽 𝑘𝐽 𝑄â = 𝑚̇â ¤ ∆𝐻â = 13.: • Sufficient residence time in order to have adequate mixing.8 𝑀𝑊 −−→ 𝑄â = 0.ª ë´à (EY•Â× ë´à ASI UNCLASSIFIED ./ = 197.MÌµ´@Eu (EY•.Ì .g. Overview of advanced concepts Note that thrust chamber dimensions are also subjected to other limitations. to limit the decrease of the stagnation pressure and thus to avoid specific impulse loss – this loss becomes appreciable when the combustion chamber area is less than 3 times the throat area) Example: SSME-MCC (version Block IIA @ Nominal Power Level): • the heat of combustion of one kg of hot-gas products at chamber pressure 𝑝.6 ¤ 10.9 − 673. high 𝑐 ∗ efficiency) • Low hot-gas pressure drop (that is.6 MJ/kg (obtained under chemical equilibrium condition). evaporation and complete combustion (that is.15 ¤ W4079. The rate of the heat of combustion is: kg MJ 𝑄Q = 𝑚̇/ ¤ 𝐻Q = 501.6 = 5317 MW ≃ 5.MÌµ´@Eu =M@.‘=Ì .

increasing the area ratio 𝐴â /𝐴/ ) Note: increasing coolant heat transfer could result in an excessive coolant pressure drop • 𝑘> /∆𝐿 (𝒌𝒘 /∆𝑳 ↑ ⇛ 𝒒𝒘 ↑ and 𝑻𝒘𝒉 ↑) • high conductivity material • thin structures ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 84 (NASA) Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . In this case. but of the gas side area 𝐴/ and thus of total heat transfer rate (𝑞/ +𝑞à )𝐴/ ) Note: increasing the hot-gas side heat transfer coefficient may be useful for increasing the coolant enthalpy gain (∆𝐻â = (𝑞/ +𝑞à )𝐴/ /𝑚̇â ). e.. Overview of advanced concepts Methods of increasing the heat transfer parameters • ℎ/ (𝒉𝒈 ↑ ⇛ 𝒒𝒘 ↑ and 𝑻𝒘𝒉 ↑) • chamber pressure • wall roughness (NASA) • longitudinal ribs (in this case the increment is not necessarily of ℎ/ . the total extracted heat can be augmented also with longer cylindrical part of the combustion chamber • ℎâ (𝒉𝑳 ↑ ⇛ 𝒒𝒘 ↑ and 𝑻𝒘𝒉 ↑) • coolant velocity VINCI (ASTRIUM) • wall roughness • high-aspect-ratio-cooling-channels (that is. in the expander-cycle engines.g.

pag 85 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . These materials (generally ceramics like silicon carbide –SiC-) are characterized by: • low thermal conductivity • low thermal expansion • high melting or sublimation temperature • high ultimate strength From (5) • chemical resistance to oxidization ASI UNCLASSIFIED . supplied by appropriately modified injector orifices (the heat flux is strongly sensitive to the injector design) • Refractory insulating non-metallic liners or thermal barrier coating (thickness of the order of tens of µ𝑚 in order to have “high” temperature in the refractory material and “low” temperature in the metallic liner). Overview of advanced concepts Additional methods to reduce the wall heat flux • Liquid (generally the fuel) or gaseous (generally the fuel or a fuel-rich “warm”-gas) films on the inner surface supplied by continuous injection through either a porous wall or small orifices • Propellant mixture ratio far from stoichiometric condition in the region near the wall.

Vulcain 2) • dump cooling (e. These methods are typically: • radiation cooling (e..g.g. RL-10B-2 in C-C – i. Vulcain 2) RS-68 Aestus Regenerative cooling Radiative cooling Regenerative cooling Ablative cooling (thrust chamber) (nozzle extension) (thrust chamber) (nozzle extension) 𝑇>. Aestus in Haynes 25 –i. particularly with nozzles of large area ratio. carbon fibers in a carbon matrix. RS-68 in silica phenolic.g. a Co/Ni/Cr/W metal alloy) • ablative cooling (e.. AJ10-190 in niobium alloy –Space Shuttle OMS-.. J-2.g.Å´‘ ~ ASI UNCLASSIFIED . because its heat transfer rate per unit area is usually much lower than in the chamber or the converging nozzle section... F-1.e.e.pag 86 1400 K Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . LR87-AJ-5 and LR91-AJ-5 –Titan II engines-) • film cooling with turbine discharge gas (e. Overview of advanced concepts Heat transfer in nozzle extension It is often advantageous to use a different cooling method for the downstream part of the diverging nozzle section.

however. such as 900 to 950 K. are sufficiently low. which are obtained with mixture ratios far from stoichiometric (usually fuel rich). or disks) still have sufficient Measurements of static stress to cause rupture after 100 hours (typically the “stress to density ratio” is the relevant variable) (1) strength without needing forced cooling ASI UNCLASSIFIED . using lower cost steel alloy as the material. Such temperatures. Overview of advanced concepts Heat transfer in gas-generators/preburners In a gas-generator or staged combustion rocket engine type the hot combustion gases that drive the turbine (with rotating speed up to 50000 rpm) are burned in a separate combustion chamber (referred to as gas generator or preburner. The higher the gas temperature at turbine inlet the lower the required turbine flow (of great relevancy for gas generator engine) State of the art turbine blade materials (such as single crystals which have been unidirectionally solidified) and special alloys can allow turbine inlet temperatures up to 1400-1600 K. nozzles. respectively). so that the combustion chamber and the hot turbine hardware (blades. manifolds.pag 87 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . reliability and cost considerations have kept actual turbine inlet temperatures at conservative values.

Regenerative cooling of LRE thrust chambers Experimental characterization of hot- gas side heat transfer ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 88 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

That is..g.pag 89 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . water in the circular sections of the calorimetric chamber and one of the propellants in the regenerative cooling system of the actual thrust chamber) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . same hot-gas flows have same convective heat transfer coefficients even if the wall temperature is different due to the use of different cooling systems and fluids (e. Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer The most adopted apparatus to measure the hot-gas side heat transfer coefficient is the water- cooled thrust chamber (also referred to as calorimetric thrust chamber). The test engine is divided into circular sections that are cooled by water (DLR) This apparatus permits to have reliable estimations of the convective heat transfer coefficient because it is a weak function of the wall temperature. The hot-gas side part of the engine is equal to the practical one (eventually in scale).

g. Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer The procedure to characterize the hot-gas side heat transfer coefficient is: • the average heat flux in the section 𝑞/ is measured from the increase in water temperature from inlet to outlet • the adiabatic wall temperature 𝑇>´ is estimated (e. the average heat transfer coefficient in the section is computed as: 𝑞/ ℎ/ = 𝑇>´ − 𝑇>µ ASI UNCLASSIFIED . using a one-dimensional model for the hot-gas expansion and a recovery factor) • the hot-gas side wall temperature 𝑇>µ can be measured using thermocouples in the material (eventually more than one in the radial direction.pag 90 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .. also to evaluate the local 𝑞/ if the material thermal conductivity is known) Then.

pressure. where variables that may influence the system are combined into non-dimensional groups. etc.) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Scaling is obtained by keeping these groups constant between the subscale and the full-scale devices • Scaling of hot-gas side convective heat transfer (mainly the hot gas side heat transfer coefficient) can be achieved by means of subscale calorimetric thrust chambers • A beneficial effect of using subscale thrust chambers is that measurement accuracy of heat flux deteriorates with increasing thrust chamber dimension (i.. vibrations. larger thrust. heat flux. This approach is the only way to evaluate novel and innovative designs by hot-fire test with considerably lower development cost • Particularly relevant in this context is the dimensional analysis. making use of scaling techniques) • Scaling is defined as the ability to design new combustion devices with predictable performance on the basis of test experience with specifically scaled hardware (mainly in terms of dimensions. temperature gradients.. flow rate. Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer Hot-gas side convective heat transfer can be characterized using subscale rocket thrust chambers (i.pag 91 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . and pressure).e.e.

pag 92 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . but the geometry of the injection element was identical (NASA) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . with respect to thrust. that is approximately 1/10 scale. respectively. The throat diameter was 84 mm while full-scale SSME diameter is 262 mm. of the full-scale SSME. Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer Techniques to scale the hot-gas side heat transfer coefficient are illustrated considering the oxygen/hydrogen SSME main combustion chamber (MCC) liner development program (during the 1970s) as an example A subscale water-cooled calorimetric chamber was used to measure the heat flux at different sections. The nominal thrust level was 40 klbf (17.8 ton). Injection elements are 600 and 61.

3 MW/m2 (NASA) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . The maximum allowable chamber pressure for the calorimeter chamber was limited by the throat region burnout heat flux of 106. throat convergence ramp angle. Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer The water-cooled calorimeter chamber had 58 independent coolant circuits.pag 93 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . combustor contraction ratio (combustion chamber to throat area) of 2. and nozzle expansion ratio (exit to throat area) of 5 as the full-scale MCC Heat flux profiles have been acquired for chamber pressures between 86 and 114 bar. each with separate temperature and pressure measurements The subscale chamber had the same combustion chamber length (injector face to throat) of 356 mm.96. throat contour radius of curvature.

pag 94 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .7 bar and O/F = 6 (total heat load was 9079 kW) (3) ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer The average heat flux in each section 𝑞/ is measured from the increase in water temperature from inlet to outlet Heat flux profile 𝑞/ for a test with p.4 = 108.

. For each axial location./c = 204./c ℎ/c = ℎ/w p. Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer The (average) hot gas heat transfer coefficient in each of the 58 circumferential cooling circuit was calculated as: 𝑞/ ℎ/ = 𝑇>´ − 𝑇>µ where 𝑞/ and 𝑇>µ are experimentally measured while the 𝑇>´ is calculated using a recovery factor and one-dimensional chemical equilibrium at the appropriate test chamber pressure and mixture ratio These data were used to predict the heat transfer coefficient in the same chamber at the maximum SSME chamber pressure condition.Â p./w = 108.7 bar (full-scale conditions) by: ./w ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 95 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .7 bar (subscale condition) to p. ℎ/ was scaled from p.

7 bar (full-scale condition) (3) ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 96 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer experimental profile of ℎ/ at 𝑝./ = 204./ = 108.7 bar (subscale condition) and scaled profile of ℎ/ at 𝑝.

.7 bar (subscale condition) to 𝑝./ 𝐴Ì 𝐴Ì ℎ/ ~ . the throat diameter effect is not taken into account (that is. the scaling due to absolute dimensions of the chambers is ignored and thus ℎ/ could be over-predicted). where heat transfer rates are primarily convective (velocity driven).. the full-scale ℎ/ corresponded to axial locations where the hot gas Mach number 𝑀 was the same as in the calorimetric chamber Note: this approach is different from using the scale law: .1 mm for the subscale chamber • 𝐷Ì = 261.c where = 𝑓(𝑀) 𝐷Ì 𝐴 𝐴 In particular.75 mm for the full-scale SSME chamber ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer Full-scale SSME heat transfer coefficient at 𝑝..7 bar: • From the injector face to ~127 mm downstream.× 𝑝.pag 97 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . for the throat diameter: • 𝐷Ì = 84.7 bar (full-scale condition) because the injector elements were the same and heat transfer rates near the injector were then primarily influenced by the distance from the injector • Further downstream. In particular. ℎ/ was the same as the scaled value from 𝑝.Â ./ = 204./ = 204./ = 108.

Experimental characterization of hot-gas side heat transfer Estimated full-scale SSME profile of ℎ/ (3) ASI UNCLASSIFIED .pag 98 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .

In Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics Series. Dexter et al.E. Oskar J. 2) Rocket Propulsion Elements. Philip Hill and Carl Peterson. Development. 200. Haidn. published by Pearson Education. Seventh Edition. published by John Wiley & Sons 3) Scaling Techniques for Design.pag 99 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana . published by NATO Cover illustration by NASA: Space Shuttle Main Engine – Main Combustion Chamber ASI UNCLASSIFIED . Sutton and Oscar Biblarz. C.. Bibliography This presentation is mainly derived from: 1) Mechanics and Thermodynamics of Propulsion. Paper 6. 70s. by George P. and Test. Second Edition. Inc. Vol. In Educational Notes RTO-EN-AVT- 150. published by AIAA 4) Many NASA technical reports from the 60s. and 80s and devoted to theoretical and experimental studies on rocket engine thrust chambers 5) Advanced Rocket Engines.

H. Huang. Huzel and David H. J. published by McGraw-Hill Notes: • the figures that are not expressively cited are mainly taken from the web • Russian rockets are barely represented in this presentation only because of the poor data and available literature ASI UNCLASSIFIED . and W. Larson. G. Cornelisse. R. published by Pitman Publishing c) Space Propulsion Analysis and Design. and K.R.W.F. Bibliography Other relevant references are: a) Modern Engineering for Design of Liquid-Propellant Rocket Engines.pag 100 Agenzia Spaziale Italiana .F.J. Fourth printing. Henry.N. Schöyer. Dieter K. Wakker. published by AIAA b) Rocket Propulsion and Spaceflight Dynamics.W. Humble.

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