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Printed Propellant and the Liquid Rocket Motor

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Conference Abstract: Additive Manufacturing has become important for the development and production of Liquid Rocket Engines (LREs) while printed hybrid rocket solid fuel grains (fuel sections) have shown improvements over traditional hybrid rockets in regression (burn) rates and specific impulse. Hollow prints, filled with paraffin fuels have shown improved performance and other advantages. Here we describe a small-scale design, static tests, and flights of a liquid rocket “motor”, using a hollow printed fuel grain, filled with a liquid fuel. Features printed into the grain meter the liquid as the motor burns. If the concept can be scaled, it could quickly lead to the vastly simpler and less expensive liquid rockets.
  • Jerome Fuller
    Senior Engineering Specialist
    The Aerospace Corporation