Proof-of-Concept Testing of a Sustained Vortex-Flow Configuration for Hybrid Rocket Motors
One of the drawbacks of hybrid rocket motors is the limited regression rate of the fuel grain, which impacts on the scalablility of the type. A number of methods of increasing this have been proposed and successfully tested, in particular the use of swirling oxidiser flow to create turbulence and increase the local oxidiser mass flux. However, many of these have limitations in practical motors for many applications, and a common problem is that of the swirl decaying within the motor. The proposed method described here is to use a tapering fuel-grain port to sustain the swirl. A short series of firings indicates that such a method may be effective, although the evidence is limited thus far. The majority of previous research has used gaseous oxygen, and it has been found during this test programme that using liquid nitrous oxide poses particular problems. However, solutions have been found, and are described in this paper.