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Orbital Transfer Vehicle Oxygen Turbopump Technology. Final Report, Volume 1. Design, Fabrication, and Hydrostatic Bearing Testing

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This report covers design, fabrication, and initial testing of a rocket engine turbopump TPA for delivery of high - pressure liquid oxygen using hot oxygen for the turbine drive fluid. This TPA is basic to the dual expander engine which uses both oxygen and hydrogen as working fluids. All material selections emphasized compatibility with hot oxygen. The OX TPA design uses a two-stage centrifugal pump driven by a single-stage axial turbine on a common shaft. The first pump stage incorporates an inducer section for improved suction performance. Inter-stage pump flow is routed external to the main housing through two ducts connecting first-stage discharge to second stage entry. The shaft is supported by two journal type hydrostatic bearing supplied with high pressure LOX from the second-stage pump discharge. The design includes ports for three shaft displacementspeed sensors, various temperature measurements, and accelerometers. The unique spherical hydrostatic bearing design was considered a radical enough departure from current design to warrant a bearing test program. Series A testing demonstrated bearing chilldown and integrity at low speed operation. An incompletely resolved problem was the rotor binding caused by pressure changes as the tester was chilled to liquid nitrogen temperatures. Series B testing demonstrated the bearing operation at high speed with maximum speed of 72 000 rpm. The bearing operated satisfactorily with no load or stability problems. Post test examination of the journal and thrust bearing surfaces showed no evidence of operating wear.

Subject Categories:

  • Pumps, Filters, Pipes, Tubing, Fittings and Valves
  • Liquid Propellant Rocket Engines
  • Liquid Rocket Propellants

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