Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Committee Member

Robert F. Boehm

Number of Pages



As part of the worldwide demilitarization efforts, outmoded solid rocket motor propellant is being destroyed by burning. Often this is done on a repeated basis in a closed chamber. There is concern whether or not previously condensed materials on the chamber wall might be re-evaporated during a new burn; The objective of this thesis is to estimate the amount of evaporation/sublimation possible for different types of organic materials during burns in a tunnel. This was carried out theoretically and compared to measurements. For the estimations, predictions of the wall and ambient temperatures were made. The evaporation/sublimation was then estimated as bulk diffusion into the tunnel air. The results provide a method to compute the evaporation rate. Good agreement is shown for the predicted temperatures compared to the measured values, although a wide variation is shown in the experimental results. Measured concentrations of various Volatile Organic Compounds from the tunnel walls are then used to estimate the maximum concentrations in the tunnel air that could occur with complete evaporation.


Burn; Condensed; Estimation; Evaporation; Experiment; Hydrocarbons; Previously; Tunnel

Controlled Subject

Mechanical engineering

File Format


File Size

1781.76 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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