Aerospace: Thermo-Fluid-Structure Interaction in space transportation systems


Caroline Danowski

Our research for this application is particularly related to the transregional research centre 40 (SFB-TRR40) of the German Research Foundation (DFG) focuses on better understanding specific problems of rocket propulsion. One important component of space transportation systems is the rocket nozzle. Due to extrem material loading, a specific problem in such a rocket nozzle is the so-called dog-house effect. The dog-house effect (or failure) is a complex cracking phenomenon most probably caused by cyclic loading, creep and chemical damage. Loss of control and subsequent failure of an Ariane 5 ECA in 2002 is assumed to be related to the dog-house effect. Furthermore, a rocket nozzle is subjected to high thermal and mechanical loads, for instance, high temperature gradients due to low temperatures in the cooling channels and high temperatures due to the combustion.

Our work aims at developing an adequate computational approach for the thermo-fluid-structure interaction (TFSI) of rocket nozzles. Using this computational method, better understanding of the dog-house effect and the optimisation of future rocket nozzles is enabled. For this purpose, a realistic and detailed model of the three-field interaction by resolving relevant effects on all temporal and spatial scales is developed. The computational model is currently focused on the thermo-structure interaction for the highly nonlinear structural problem, both from the point of view of material and geometrical nonlinearities. The complete TFSI model is realised in cooperation with the Institute of Aerodynamics at the Technische Universität München within SFB-TRR 40. The turbulent flow problem is adressed by a large-eddy simulation approach including shock-boundary-layer interactions.


Please find publications on this topic here.