Interior Ballistic Simulations of the Bulk-Loaded Liquid Propellant Gun

Report No. ARL-TR-2316
Authors: James DeSpirito
Date/Pages: January 2001; 38 pages
Abstract: The objective of this study was to determine the feasibility of modeling the interior ballistic processes of the bulk-loaded liquid propellant gun. A modified version of the CRAFT Navier-Stokes code was used to perform simulations of bulk-loaded liquid propellant gun firings that employed two different chamber configurations. The simulation accurately captures the longitudinal wave structure present in the experimental data, but a combustion delay present at the start of the ballistic cycle was not present in the simulations. The simulations showed the development of a cavity that penetrated the bulk-liquid column as it accelerated toward the projectile, leaving an annulus of unburned liquid propellant along the chamber wall. High gas temperatures were noted in this gas cavity region, possibly attributable to isentropic compression caused by the unique conditions in the bulk-loaded gun. The simulation of the second chamber configuration compared well with the experimental data, while the simulation of the first chamber configuration did not capture the experimental pressure- time profile. In general, the simulations showed an insensitivity to chamber geometry that is not observed in experimental firings. The limitations of the simulations were attributed to the lack of complete physical sub-models, such as a droplet formation/combustion model and detailed chemical kinetics. The model has the potential to be a useful tool in the analysis of experimental data. However, predictive capability is unlikely without the development of better physical sub-models.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2001