Characterization of particle trajectories in solid rocket motors

Brian A. Maicke, Ajay Katta, Joseph Majdalani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


The focus of this paper is the theoretical prediction of trajectories of solid particles leaving the surface of a propellant grain in a cylindrically-shaped solid rocket motor (SRM). The Lagrangian particle trajectory is modeled while taking into account contributions due to drag, virtual mass, Saffman lift, gravity, and buoyancy forces in a Stokes flow regime. For the conditions associated with a simulated SRM, it is determined that the two dominant forces affecting particle trajectory are the drag and gravitational forces. Thus using a oneway coupling paradigm, the effects of particle size, sidewall injection velocity and location, and particle-to-gas density ratio are examined in the context of an idealized motor. The particle size and sidewall injection velocity are found to have a greater impact on particle trajectory than the density ratio. It is hoped that these findings will be used to assist investigations into particle-mean flow interactions aimed at reducing slag retention and nozzle erosion due to particle impingement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint PropulsionConference
StatePublished - 2013
Event49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint PropulsionConference - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jul 14 2013Jul 17 2013

Publication series

Name49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference


Other49th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint PropulsionConference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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