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Friday, February 26, 2010

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On Dec. 11, 2003, NIST hosted a workshop at the Boulder, CO, campus of NIST on the thermophysical properties of the rocket propellant designated RP-1. Specialists in rocket fuels (from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Air Force, commercial rocket engine manufacturers, and academia) convened with NIST researchers to hear about recent NIST work conducted to help better define the properties of this fuel and to plan future activities required to achieve consensus standards for the properties of fuels over the broad ranges of conditions The work at NIST was conducted primarily in support of NASA efforts to develop highly reliable reusable rocket engines for future launch vehicles in which the fuels may encounter higher pressures and temperatures. The rational design of such systems must be based on accurately known thermophysical properties, and it was apparent to the rocket designers that information on the properties of RP-1 was extremely limited. In one NASA study, it was concluded that property uncertainties account for 70% of the uncertainty in a portion of the propulsion system design, and it was noted that the differences in RP-1 properties from different sources can amount to 5% to 60%.

NIST researchers reported new, high sensitivity compositional characterizations of RP-1 fuels and new metrological quality property results for density, viscosity, heat capacity, and thermal conductivity with temperatures extending beyond a decomposition limit (near 600 K) and pressures to about 70 MPa. These data were used to establish accurate preliminary property surfaces for this complex fluid. A software implementation of the preliminary models was delivered to NASA engineers and their contractors for testing and to assist in the resolution of current engine design problems. Participants in the workshop were eager to use the current results, and were very interested in continued NIST efforts to explore the effects of sample-to-sample variation and refined processing methods on fuel properties, to help establish new protocols for fuel characterization, and to expand the range of conditions and properties.

CONTACT: Joe Magee, (303) 497-3298; magee@boulder.nist.gov or Dan Friend, (303) 497-5424; dfriend@boulder.nist.gov.
Source Citation
"NIST hosts rocket propellant RP-1 workshop." Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology 108.6 (2003): 480. Computer Database. Web. 26 Feb. 2010.
Document URL
http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/infomark.do?&contentSet=IAC-Documents&type=retrieve&tabID=T002&prodId=CDB&docId=A118379894&source=gale&srcprod=CDB&userGroupName=broward29&version=1.0

Gale Document Number:A118379894

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