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Published April 2019 | public
Journal Article

Topology Optimization of Solid Rocket Fuel


This paper investigates possible improvements in the combustion properties of multicomponent solid propellants through the application of topology optimization methods to representative volume element (RVE) of HMX-aluminum fuel. Design objectives for the material include increased thermal conductivity and reduced amounts of induced strains under thermal loads. The targeted increases in thermal conductivity generate designs that increase burn propagation rates, whereas the reductions in structural compliance minimize relative displacements within the design cell. Novel domain-filter treatments are also developed to better control the boundary effects on the resulting designs. A family of wire-like solutions is found to provide optimal combustion and structural properties. Burn performance estimates showed 52 and 33% improvements in burn propagation speeds relative to previous designs at, respectively, 20 and 200 atm.

Additional Information

© 2019 by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc. Received 9 August 2018; revision received 5 November 2018; accepted for publication 6 November 2018; published online 29 January 2019. This work was funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, by grant FA9550-17-1-02234 (program officer: Mitat Birkan). D. S. Stewart was funded by Office of Naval Research, N00014-16-1-2057.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023