Modeling Plasma Flow in Solid Propellant Charges Using the NGEN Multiphase CFD Code

Report No. ARL-TR-3768
Authors: Michael J. Nusca and Stephen L. Howard
Date/Pages: April 2006; 34 pages
Abstract: Recent requirements for hypervelocity projectile launch for strategic U.S. Army missions have led to the proposal of a variety of gun propulsion systems. Among these systems are those that utilize solid propellant along with electrothermal-chemical (ETC) augmentation. Advanced solid propellant systems with complex grain geometry and loading configuration are also being investigated. In response to this need, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, in cooperation with Paul Gough Associates, is developing the Next Generation Interior Ballistics model, NGEN. The goal of this project is the development of an advanced interior ballistics model for use in the design and investigation of both indirect- and direct-fire gun propulsion systems. The current report demonstrates progress for application of the NGEN code to solid propellant, direct-fire gun systems in which various propellant configurations (i.e., grains and disks) are combined into a single charge in order to obtain higher-loading densities. The charge may be ignited using either a conventional (Benite) or an ETC plasma capillary. These notional charges are being investigated to determine code performance and assess the need for code upgrades, as well as to investigate propellant ignitability with Benite and plasma sources. Comparison with pressure data measured in a 25-mm ballistics simulator, filled with inert disks and grains, provides validation of the NGEN model with respect to the representation of the plasma efflux from an ablation capillary, into the chamber, and around propellant disks.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2006