"Solid Rocket Motor Metal Cases"

by Aerojet, Thiokol, Rocketdyne, United Technology and NASA scientists and engineers


Solid Rocket Motor Metal Cases

by Aerojet-General, with technical engineering support from the United Technology Center, Thiokol Chemical Corp., Hercules, Inc., and the NASA Lewis Research Center

An exception handbook for designing solid rocket motors.  Prepared at the NASA Lewis Research Center by scientists and engineers from Aerojet-General Corporation, with support from the Rocketdyne Solid Rocket Division (North American Rockwell Corporation), United Technology Center (United Aircraft Corporation), and Thiokol Chemical Corporation, and Hercules Powder Company, this valuable book gives the practical information you need to design and build a high-technology, state-of-the-art solid propellant rocket motor chamber. 

The contents are the result of more than 45 years of investigations by the world's largest propulsion contractors.  Millions upon millions of dollars were spent obtaining this essential design and fabrication data. 

Typical engineering drawing (much smaller than in book)

The text covers both state-of-the art design criteria and recommended practices.  Thick and comprehensive, it covers these subjects and many more:

  • Motor case configuration and design
  • Design optimization
  • External envelope volume, size, and complexity constraints
  • End closure configurations
  • Length-to-diameter ratios
  • Propellant mass fraction
  • Design safety factor
  • Case attachment fittings
  • Motor case loads (attachment; internal and external loads)
  • Structural analysis
  • Thin-shell structures
  • Local attachments and openings
  • Local weld discontinuities
  • Buckling of thin-wall shells
  • Structural dynamics
  • Bending frequencies
  • External and internal dynamic environments
It’s thick, heavy, and packed with accurate information for the professional (and “amateur”) rocket scientist, engineer, technician, and experimenter.  (After all, it was written by "the experts!"  These are the scientists who designed and built virtually every American solid-propelled rocket, missile, and solid-boosted spacecraft over the last 50 years.)

Detailed investigations are provided for:

  • Case fabrication
  • Fabrication cost and reliability
  • Fabrication effects
There are chapters about fabrication materials, as well, such as:
  • Material selection:
    • Case loading
    • Critical-temperature loading
    • Weight limits
    • Heat-treatment requirements
  • Material sizes and properties:
    • Steels
    • Titanium
    • Aluminum

Rounding things out, you'll also learn critical details about:

  • Brittle and ductile modes of failure
  • Fatigue
  • Special fabrication  and case-configuration considerations
  • Testing and inspection plans and processes
  • Destructive and nondestructive testing
  • Hydrostatic proof tests
  • Environmental considerations (thermal, corrosive, and space environments; sterilization for planetary exploration)

There are also numerous exceptionally-detailed engineering drawings, such as these (here they've been greatly reduced, and are shown at much lower resolution):

Typical illustrations from the book (much smaller than actual size)

Typical detailed fabrication engineering drawing

Typical detailed engineering drawing of attachment lugs

Typical detailed design illustration showing closure fittings

Typical explanation of design theory

Typical table of case materials, and their characteristics:
one of many in this highly-detailed reference book

Plus there's 10 pages of technical references (150 different studies are listed) ... and MUCH more not mentioned here!

All essential algebraic formulae and equations are included, working with a wide variety of common and complex closure and mounting lug (attachment) geometries and motor designs--from cylindrical to spherical.  (Better lube your slide rules, fellas!)

If you design, build, test, or fly solid-propelled rockets or missiles of any size, you'll want this superb reference textbook.  It’s especially useful for “amateur” rocket builders -- with an abundance of data, esoteric information, and once-secret lore from the world's foremost rocket builders: Aerojet, Hercules, United Technology, Thiokol, Rocketdyne, and NASA.

Very hard to find and now out-of-print, this new limited edition has been republished by the Rocket Science Institute.  It's printed with a high-resolution laser printer (not photocopied) on high-quality, bright-white, acid-free paper for years of reference use.  106 pages, large and easy-to-read 11" x 8-1/2" size. 

ISBN 1-878628-19-4.     $24.95

Priority Mail Postage US $3.85            Global Priority Mail (Canada / Mexico) US$7.00          Global Priority Mail International US$9.00.

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The Rocket Science Institute is a non-profit scientific and educational foundation in support of "amateur" experimental rocket science, engineering, and technology.

Rocket Science Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 1253, Carmel Valley CA 93924 USA     •     e-mail: books@rocketsciencebooks.com

Book Catalog
Nitrate-type Propellants Group