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NDT of Solid Propellant Rocket Motors

calendar Nov. 05, 2020user-iconTXNDT
NDT work on a motor

Nondestructive testing is a “behind the scenes” player in a number of different industries. While it may not be obvious, the NDT field is many industries’ first line of defense against safety risks. Considering the expense and sensitivity of solid propellant rocket motors, NDT is crucial to supporting the aerospace industry.

Let’s discuss the intricate process of nondestructive testing for solid propellant rocket motors.

How to do NDT for Solid Propellant Rocket Motors

What are Solid Propellant Rockets?

Even for those who do work in nondestructive testing, the intricacies of different models of rockets can be complicated.

According to NASA, a solid rocket engine is “used on air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, on model rockets, and as boosters for satellite launchers. In a solid rocket, the fuel and oxidizer are mixed together into a solid propellant which is packed into a solid cylinder. A hole through the cylinder serves as a combustion chamber. When the mixture is ignited, combustion takes place on the surface of the propellant. A flame front is generated which burns into the mixture. The combustion produces great amounts of exhaust gas at high temperature and pressure. The amount of exhaust gas that is produced depends on the area of the flame front and engine designers use a variety of hole shapes to control the change in thrust for a particular engine.”

With complex processes such as the function of a solid propellant rocket motor, it is crucial that everything is operating perfectly so that each component can accomplish its purpose.

Nondestructive testing verifies the safe operation of these sensitive instruments to save crucial time and money and significantly reduce safety risks.

NDT Methods

While there are multiple different methods that can be used for safe nondestructive testing of rocket motors, ultrasonic is one of the most common. During ultrasonic testing, sound waves are used much like during a common ultrasound exam. These sound waves travel through the component under inspection. If any flaw or discontinuity is detected, the indication will reflect back to the sending unit and be displayed on the screen.

Ultrasonic testing is a precise method that detects flaws and voids below the surface of a component. When working with assets as expensive and sensitive as rocket motors, it is paramount to be as thorough as possible in the inspection process. A failure of a unit of this magnitude will always spell disaster. Not only will repairs cost valuable time and money, but an engine failure could easily result in loss of life. The support offered by nondestructive testing is invaluable.

Contact TXNDT Today!

NDT technicians must be highly skilled professionals to work with such valuable assets. A great technician starts with a great NDT training school.

Since the requirements of an NDT technician can change from job to job, the expert instructors at TXNDT ensure that all prospective technicians are qualified to take on whatever their next job throws at them.

From introductory NDT courses to NDT level 3 certification, we take an active approach to educating all of our students and encourage all prospective technicians to take an active role in their own learning.

If you or your staff are looking for ways to expand your skills and broaden your career opportunities through nondestructive testing courses, consider NDT certification.

Don’t trust just any NDT school. If you’re looking for a top-tier experience, give us a call today at 281-231-0001 or check out our website for more information.