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  • mechanical interfaces for rocket thrust chamber technology based on composite materials

    Paper number



    Mr. Markus Ortelt, DLR German Aerospace Center, Germany



    Since about one decade DLR develops structural concepts for ceramic rocket thrust chambers using fibre reinforced materials. The double-layered combustion chamber wall principle consists of a transpiration cooled inner C/C liner covering the hot gas region, enclosed in an outer load carrying CFRP housing (figure top left). The C/C is a finely porous composite material with carbon fibres embedded in a carbon matrix belonging to the large class of CMC’s (Ceramic Matrix Composites), which absorbs in this application the thermal loads working actively cooled. It resists high temperatures and offers by this capability the potential of high efficient system operation. On the other hand CFRP (Carbon Fibre Reinforced Plastic), associated to the large class of common fibre reinforced plastics shows high potential to catch the mechanical loads going hand in hand with the reduction of the structural weight, why it is attractive for space transport technologies. Hereby the operation of this specifically applied duro-plastic outer CFRP shell is accompanied by both high inner pressure loads and extensive outer mechanical load interactions under cryogenic environmental conditions. Such a high end scenario searches for adequate mechanical interfaces to manage the load introduction in parallel to the optimal utilization of the materials capabilities. Hence it is an extraordinary challenge to introduce composite technologies into rocket propulsion. DLR spends high effort on the field of composite structure development especially considering hybrid designs since many years. This paper presents diverse interface approaches (for example: figure left down; cryogenic testing, figure right) foreseen to achieve the aim of an integral structural thrust chamber design concept.
    Abstract document


    Manuscript document