Analysis of viscoelastic behavior of a filled elastomer under action of different loads

Nikola I. Gligorijević, Saša Ž. Živković, Nenad V. Kovačević, Nenad P. Dimitrijević, Bojan M. Pavković, Miloš Pavić, Vesna Ž. Rodić


Mechanical properties of viscoelastic filled polymers strongly depend on temperature and strain rate and vary for several orders of magnitude. During service life, a viscoelastic body, especially carboxy-terminated polybutadiene (CTPB) composite solid rocket propellant grain, is subjected to many stress-inducing loads. Its structural integrity analysis (hereafter: “structural analysis”), unlike elastic bodies, is quite complex and sometimes impossible under the action of just a single load. An even greater problem occurs when multiple dif­ferent types of loads act simultaneously. This study is based on a complete uniaxial mech­anical characterization of a viscoelastic CTPB composite rocket propellant, made in MTI-Belgrade, whose results were used for the analysis of the propellant grain reliability. Through an example, this paper shows a behavior of the viscoelastic propellant grain when it is subjected to extremely different environmental loads at the same time. Similar explicit examples are difficult to found in the literature, except in the form of recommended prin­ciples for analysis. It is shown that the tensile strength under the action of fast load due to the pressure may be almost 20 times greater than the tensile strength under the slow temperature load. A probabilistic approach is presented in evaluation the reliability and service life. An example is shown for a rocket propellant grain as a viscoelastic body. The presented principles of the analysis can be applied to any arbitrary viscoelastic body in other areas.


composite propellant; viscoelasticity; time–temperature shift factor; ultimate strength; damage; probability of failure

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