Particle-impact characterization results at liquid rocket engine conditions for a miniature shock tube Conference Paper uri icon


  • Metallic particle contamination is a concern for liquid rocket engines that exploit enriched-oxygen conditions because particle impact with structural components could lead to subsequent ignition, combustion, and consumption of engine components. The unique shock-gun apparatus employed herein is capable of accelerating seeded metallic particles into a target material at high velocity and in a high-temperature, pressure, and oxygen concentration environment to study the material's ignition and combustion properties. Characterization measurements have been performed with an improved apparatus over an expanded operating range, in greater detail and higher fidelity than previously reported. The range of oxygen fill pressure and driver to driven pressure ratio was 0.2-6.9 MPa (25-1000 psia) and 25-1300, respectively. High-speed imaging was utilized to correlate particle arrival time and velocity (310-700 m/s) at the impact plane to pre-test conditions and particle geometry. Total pressure and Mach number data were obtained at the particle impact plane using modified inserts, with results spanning the 2.8-15.9 MPa (0.4-2.3 ksi) range. A fully empirical, transient model of the total pressure at the impact plane was developed for a wide range of operating conditions. In addition, a theoretical oxygen flow model has been laid out and compared to the experimental results.

author list (cited authors)

  • Thomas, J. C., Crofton, M. W., Anderson, J. P., Worshum, M. D., & Petersen, E. L.

publication date

  • January 2017