The SMBS addresses the development, application, and verification of experimental, analytical, and statistical techniques required in the preliminary or detailed structural design of solid propellant rocket motors and gun ammunition, the assessment of their structural integrity, and the prediction of their service life based on structural or chemical aging mechanisms.

The 45th Structures and Mechanical Behavior Subcommittee sessions relate to the structures and materials comprising propulsion systems, including composite structures. Papers are solicited on developing, applying, and verifying techniques for preliminary or detailed structural design of propulsion units (rocket motors, liquid- or gel-fueled engines and gun propulsion) and related composite structures, for assessing their structural integrity and reliability, and for predicting their service life. Additional information concerning these areas or the topics being solicited should be directed to the appropriate Area Chair. Specific areas of interest are listed below.

SMBS Mission Areas

Areas of interest included in the Call for Papers are:

Mission Area I: Service Life / Missile Sustainment

Chair: Position Vacant

Methodology for service life prediction and assessment
  • Aging systems - surveillance, service life prediction, extension
  • Factors which limit the service life of propulsion systems and propellants, such as chemical/structural aging, changes in binder/filler interaction, crystallization, migration/diffusion of ingredients or moisture
  • Development approaches for improving service life of solid rocket motors and liquid rocket components
  • Motor monitoring - NDE methodologies applicable to service life evaluation
  • Factors which limit service life of structural sub-components (nozzles, cases, igniters, combustion chambers, tanks, etc)
  • Hazards related to service life and aging

Mission Area II: Materials Properties and Characterization

Dr. Soe T. (Tom) Bhe, Aerojet Rocketdyne / Rancho Cordova, CA
Telephone:  (916) 355-4159

Mr. David J. Braithwaite, Orbital ATK / Brigham City, UT
Telephone:  (435) 863-6904

New developments or application experiences related to mechanical properties and characterization.

  • Effects of propellant formulation on gun tube wear and erosion (GTWE)
  • Fundamental molecular modeling related to gun tube wear and erosion
  • New and/or improved test methods for evaluating materials used in liquid engine components or liquid engine propellant tanks
  • New and/or improved test methods for evaluating propellant and case or component construction materials mechanical properties including tensile, shear, friability, dilatation and bulk, fracture, microstructure, aging, propellant/case bond, etc.
  • New and/or improved approaches to material properties optimization during solid rocket motor or gun propellant development
  • Advancements in test equipment and procedures, test instrumentation, data acquisition and processing techniques, and data reduction and analysis
  • Test specimen preparation techniques and dynamic characterization
  • Mechanical properties related to propulsion systems hazards, e.g., material characterization under impact loads or high loading rates

Mission Area III: Structural Analysis and Design

Dr. Brian C. Liechty, Orbital ATK / Brigham City, UT
Telephone:  (435) 863-3459

Evaluation and validation of structural analysis methods applicable to initial design, structural integrity, and service life prediction of propulsion systems.
  • Advancements in the state-of-the-art in structural analysis, particularly in nonlinear viscoelastic analysis and incorporation of nonlinear constitutive behavior
  • Cumulative damage, failure criteria, and thermal and moisture diffusion analysis are included in these areas
  • Structural reliability analyses and analysis of nondestructive evaluation results relative to structural reliability are two areas of particular interest
  • Approaches to incorporating the results of NDE in a structural analysis code and methods of evaluating the effects of defects on structural integrity are of particular interest
  • Applications of nonlinear elastic-plastic analysis to design of metal components, such as cases and pressure vessels
  • Application of structural analysis methods to health-monitoring sensors, including sensor design, influence of sensors on motor integrity, and interpretation and application of sensor data

Mission Area IV: Experimental Structural and Mechanical Analysis and Test Methods

Mr. Vincent McDonald, NSWC / Indian Head, MD
Telephone:  (301) 744-1463

Evaluation of stress measurement tools and techniques for liquid rocket engines and solid rocket motors, analog rocket motor design, analysis and testing.

  • State-of-the-art experimental structural methods
  • Technology for experimental stress analysis
  • Experimental validation of stress analyses and failure analyses
  • Experimental investigation of rocket motor structural/ballistic interactions operating pressures (gun barrel and motor case)
  • Statistical considerations in experimental stress analysis
  • Experimental structural analysis and test methods for rocket motor cases, nozzles, and gun propulsion systems
  • Experiments related to the fundamental chemistry occurring between gun barrel materials and combustion products
  • Macroscopic erosion experiments leading to chemical mechanisms occurring in gun tube wear and erosion

Mission Area V: Nondestructive Evaluation

Mr. Scott H. McClain, Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center / Picatinny Arsenal, NJ
Telephone:  (973) 724-8428

Nondestructive evaluation and inspection techniques to solid propellant rocket motors, liquid or gel engines, and gun propulsion systems and components.
  • Application of NDE techniques during any portion of the life cycle of the propulsion components
  • Application of NDE technology and methods for enhancing propulsion system and/or subcomponent quality and reliability
  • Use of NDE methods during the propulsion system life cycle from manufacturing to acceptance (buy-off)
  • The monitoring and control of manufacturing processes
  • Automated NDE sensing systems for quality control and conformance testing
  • Use of embedded sensing system (including Micro-Electromechanical Systems MEMS) for performance testing
  • NDE methods used during static test
  • NDE standards for system or component acceptance
  • NDE methods for health management
  • Role of NDE in service life assessment and extension
  • Evaluation of propulsion system aging characteristics
  • The post-acceptance evaluation of grain integrity, inert materials aging, chemical attack and migration, corrosion, and environmental storage effects
  • Use of NDE technologies in strategic sustainment
  • Advanced NDE systems and technologies, including but not limited to, real-time radiography, digital ultrasonics, holography, shearography, computed tomography, acoustic emission, electro-optic fiber embedments, thermography, lasers, and advanced digital image analysis techniques
  • Emerging NDE technologies and their potential application to the propulsion community

Mission Area VI: Damage Tolerance / Fracture / Failure [Joint Mission Area with RNTS]

Mr. David M. McCutcheon, NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL
Telephone:  (256) 544-8835

This mission area will focus on experimental and modeling studies into damage tolerance and/or fracture pertaining to non-metallic materials which can be used on space systems such as rocket motors or re-entry vehicles. Examples of areas of research could include investigation into fracture behavior of propellants, liners, insulation, adhesives, nozzle ablative liners, re-entry insulators, etc. Emphasis will be placed on material characterization of flaw behavior and analytical methods used to simulate these behaviors. Areas of study would include into propagation, arrest, and fatigue and related topics. Current and historical investigations into anomalies and failures as related to damage tolerance and fracture will also be addressed.

Structures and Mechanical Behavior Subcommittee Chair

Dr. Jeremy R. Rice, Army Aviation and Missile Research, Development and Engineering Center / Redstone Arsenal, AL
Telephone:  (256) 876-6077

JHU WSE ERG Technical Representative

Mr. David B. Owen, JHU WSE ERG / Columbia, MD
Telephone:  (443) 718-5006