Title page for ETD etd-102098-145549

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Li, Hung-Peng
Author's Email Address esmhpli@mail.vt.edu
URN etd-102098-145549
Title Investigation of the Stability of Metallic/Composited-Cased Solid Propellant Rocket Motors under External Pressure
Degree PhD
Department Engineering Mechanics
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Heller, Robert A. Committee Chair
Griffin, Odis Hayden Jr. Committee Member
Librescu, Liviu Committee Member
Plaut, Raymond H. Committee Member
Thangjitham, Surot Committee Member
  • initial imperfections
  • buckling
  • rocket motors
  • composite
  • cylindrical shells
  • stability
Date of Defense 1998-09-18
Availability unrestricted
Solid rocket motors consist of a thin metallic or composite shell filled with a soft rubbery propellant. Such motors are vulnerable and prone to buckling due to sudden external pressures produced by nearby detonation.

The stability conditions of rocket motors subjected toaxisymmetric, external pressure loading are examined. The outer cases of motors are considered as isotropic (metallic) or anisotropic (composite), thin and high-strength shells, which are the main structures of interest in the stability analyses. The inner, low-strength elastic cores are modeled as linear and nonlinear elastic foundations.

A general, refined, Sanders' nonlinear shell theory, which accounts for geometric nonlinearity in the form of von Karman type of nonlinear strain-displacement relations, is used to model thin-walled, laminated,composite cylindrical shells. The first order shear deformable concept is adopted in the analyses to include the transverse shear flexibility of composites. A winkler-type of linear and nonlinear elastic foundation is applied to model the internal foundations. Pasternak-foundation constants are also chosen tomodify the proposed elastic foundation model for the purpose of shear interactions. A set of displacement-based finite element codes have been formulated to determine critical buckling loads and mode shapes. The effect of initial imperfections on the structural responses are also incorporated in the formulations.

A variety of numerical examples are investigated to demonstrate the validity and efficiency of the purposed theory under various boundary condiitions and loading cases. First, linear eigenvalue analysis is used to examine approximate buckling loads and buckling modes as well as symmetric conditions. An iterative solution procedure, either Newton-Raphson or Riks-Wempner method is employed to trace the nonlinear equilibrium paths for the cases of stress, buckling and post-buckling analyses. Both ring and shell-type models are applied for the structural analyses with different internal elastic foundations and initial imperfections.

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