Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert F. Boehm

Number of Pages



Outmoded solid rocket motor propellant is being destroyed by burning as part of the worldwide demilitarization process. Many of these bums have been performed in spaces where the combustion products are contained within a sealed chamber. There is currently no accepted method to predict the gas temperature and pressure that results from this process. The primary focus of this study was the prediction of the peak temperature and pressure of the gas inside an underground containment chamber as a function of the propellant consumed and the prediction of the wall surface temperature as a function of time; A thermodynamic lumped approximation analysis was combined with the application of a semi-infinite heat conduction solution and Duhamel's integral. The result was an estimation of the peak temperature and pressure of the gas, as well as the surface temperature of the chamber wall. Parametric studies were performed using the model developed to help understand influences of various physical parameters. Additionally, comparisons were made to data taken from three different experiments conducted at the X-Tunnel complex at the Nevada Test Site.


Burning; Contained; Motor; Parametric; Propellant; Rocket; Solid; Study

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering; Aerospace engineering

File Format


File Size

1372.16 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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