Tubular Copper Thrust Chamber Design Study
Final rept. Oct 1989-Jun 1990,
PRATT AND WHITNEY WEST PALM BEACH FL GOVERNMENT ENGINES AND SPACE PROPULSION
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Tube bundle construction is one of the least expensive, shortest lead time, and most developed means of fabricating rocket engine thrust chambers. Most production engine thrust chambers before the Space Shuttle Main Engine SSME were fabricated from tube bundles. At the high combustion pressures of the SSME, high material thermal conductivity is essential to minimize hot-wall thermal gradients. Copper is the only suitable construction material with adequate conductivity to meet this requirement. Since conventional tube bundle construction requires brazing, and conventional copper alloys cannot be brazed without a prohibitive loss in tensile strength, alternative means of producing copper thrust chambers i.e., milled channel construction had to be developed. This type of construction is very costly, requires extensive lead time, and produces serious low-cycle fatigue life limitations.
- Manned Spacecraft