Case Studies

  • Sector:
  • Rockets and Missiles
  • Offering:
  • Custom Software Development
  • Technology:
  • CFD

Prediction of Liner Erosion from Rocket Plume Impingement

Our customer is engaged with development of naval platform based air Defence systems. One of the critical issues relates to management of rocket plume as it lifts off from the platform. The plume is diverted back to open atmosphere by way of curved deflector plates. The plates are protected from extreme thermal effects of plume impingement by applying a coating of suitable liner material. Selection of liner materials and their thickness at various regions of deflector plates requires precise estimation of their erosion during each rocket launch. It is not practical to experimentally evaluate liner performances in such a setup for obvious reasons.

(a) Schematic of deflector - SPREE studies (b) Schematic of plume management system

Zeus Numerix developed a mathematical model to simulate melting and erosion of liner due to thermal effects during rocket launch. The model was based on Landau transformation of transient heat transfer equation with moving boundary. The methodology was validated against the experimental erosion data generated during SPREE studies by NASA. Finally, the model was applied for customer’s rocket launch scenario and three different liner materials were evaluated.

The customer was provided with the prediction on erosion depths and temperature variations in different type of liners at different regions of plume deflector plates. Accordingly, recommendations were made on thickness of the liners to be used such that weight penalty from liners is minimum. The customer used this study to obtain approval for rocket plume management system from a safety review panel.