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Performance Evaluation of Rocket Motor End Dish Using Computed Tomography (CT)



Computed Tomography (CT) system with Linear Detector Array (LDA) generates a thin crosssectional image (slice) of an object where as with Flat Panel Detector (FPD) directly generates 3D volume from 2D X-ray projections. Further, CT images are free from overlying and underlying areas of the object and are highly sensitive to small density differences (<1%) between structures. This paper discusses about the efficacy of 3D CT for performance evaluation of Rocket motor End dish. The End dish experiences very high temperatures and very high pressures due to propellant combustion inside rocket motor, so the metal casing is bonded with composite liners to avoid its melting. A hole, which is drilled at an oblique angle through metal casing, later through liner should maintain single axis. Any skewness in hole axis and lack of bond integrity between multiple interfaces results in abnormal performance of rocket motor during its functional test. In such scenario, 3D CT technique was employed on End dish to find out the bond integrity, hole axis skewness and also to assess the performance of End dish after functional test. The salient features of 3D CT evaluation of End dish are highlighted.

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