Solid Rocket Motor Contained Burn Disposal Status,
LOCKHEED MISSILES AND SPACE CO INC SUNNYVALE CA
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Obsolete, excess or aged solid rocket motors are being stockpiled or destroyed at an increasing rate. The existing method of destroying solid rocket motors is through a process called open burn or open detonation. Open burning or open detonation of solid rocket motors is coming under greater environmental scrutiny and governmental regulation. In response to the demand for an environmentally responsible solid rocket motor disposal process Lockheed Martin LM initiated an effort in 1988 to identify and evaluate alternate solid rocket motor disposal methods. During the initial study, many potential disposal processes were identified and four were thoroughly evaluated. The contained burning process was judged to be the safest, most cost effective, and mature technique applicable to both Class 1.1 and Class 1.3 solid propellants. The contained burn process involves firing a nozzleless solid rocket motor inside of a containment vessel. The contained burn process confines and cools the combustion products and subsequently treats the effluent gases, liquids and solids, utilizing standard industrial treatment technologies. This process has been demonstrated repeatedly at a full scale test facility and now represents a mature technology for the safe and environmentally responsible destruction of solid rocket motors.
- Solid Propellant Rocket Engines