Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Propulsion and Power






American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc.

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Results froma development campaign, where modern additive manufacturing methods are used to fabricate hybrid rocket fuel grains with embedded helical ports, are presented. The fuel grains were constructed from acrlyonitrile butadiene styrene using commercially available three-dimensional printer feedstockmaterial.Gaseous oxygen is used as the oxidizer for this test campaign.When compared to cylindrical fuel ports, significant increases in fuel regression rates were observed, and these increases in regression rate diminished with time as the helical fuel port burns to become progressivelymore cylindrical. Comparisons to the helical pipe flow skin friction correlation developed by Mishra and Gupta indicate that increased skin friction only partially accounts for the increased regression rate. The Mishra-Gupta correlation underpredicts the regression rate amplification early in the fuel burn and overpredicts that value late in the burn. The authors conclude that radial wall-blowing due to fuel pyrolysis is suppressed by centrifugal forces introduced by the helical flow and compresses the boundary-layer flame zone closer to the fuel port wall. Thus, convective heat transfer is significantly enhanced, and that effect also contributes significantly to the observed regression rate increase. This effect diminishes with time and is not modeled by the Mishra-Gupta correlation. © 2015 by Utah State University. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc., with permission.