3323. Optimizing Composite Rocket Motor Development Using Advanced Evolutionary Algorithms


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Frank Abdi, Dr. Myles L. Baker: 3323. Optimizing Composite Rocket Motor Development Using Advanced Evolutionary Algorithms. 2004.



The design of composite motor cases for solid rockets is a very complex undertaking, and requires the careful consideration of many factors. One of the most obvious challenges is ensuring that the materials chosen, the winding sequence, and the orientation and ordering of the winding plies results in a pressure vessel with the highest possible strength for a given weight. This is significantly complicated by the fact that composite motor cases are not simple pressurized bottles, but have stringent requirements for integration with the rest of the vehicle in the form of skirts, nozzles, fins, lugs, etc. At the skirts, sufficient compliance must be designed into the structure so as not to cause local failures when the pressure vessel expands under pressure, but sufficient strength must be available to carry the required axial, bending, and transverse loads. At the pole pieces, the bond between the composite case material and the typically metallic pole hardware must be able to withstand the stresses from differential thermal expansion as well as mechanical stresses due to pressurization. The manufacturing and life prediction process has been applied to the analysis and optimization of a composite motor case with excellent results.


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