US 3541796 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Nov. 24, 1970 E. D. MORRIS HYPERGOLIC IGNITER FOR SOLID MOTO S Filed. Sept. 30, 1968 M 8 m A 4. 3 2 J 3 I/ 2 0 /&// 4 .1. r 8 M M/ /4 2 2 3 6 2 MN m C, M
ATTORNEY US. Cl. 60-256 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A hypergolic igniter for solid fuel rocket motors includes a container for a hypergolic fluid, the container having an outlet communicating with a chamber containing the solid fuel, the outlet being normally closed by a closure member fitted thereon. Resilient means urge the closure member to an open position, and a cable means extends within the container and is connected between the closure member and a retainer means for normally holding the closure member in a closed position. In one embodiment, the retainer means is an electrically-actuable, explosive cable cutter which is operable to release the cable means for permitting the closure members to be moved, by the resilient means, to the open position.
This invention relates to ignition means for solid rocket motors and is particularly directed to hypergolic ignition means including a confined fluid which, when released, reacts chemically with the propellant to ignite the rocket motor.
In rocket motors, it is important that ignition of the propellant take place with certainty and occur smoothly. Because of this, hypergolic fluids have been preferred as ignition materials over such substances as black powder. Such fluids are normally inactive, when confined; but, when released, react exothermally with air or the propellant material or both to cause ignition of the propellant. Numerous means have been proposed heretofore for confining hypergolic fluids for this purpose. However, none of the prior art techniques have been entirely satisfactory. Some of the prior art devices have been complicated and unreliable. Other prior art devices have employed easily-removable closure means, such as frictionally-retained caps, which may be removed surruptitiously or accidentally during handling causing premature ignition of the propellant material and possibly resulting in serious damage and injury.
These disadvantages of the prior art are overcome with the present invention and hypergolic ignition means are provided which are simple and reliable, yet preclude inadvertent release of the hypergolic fluid.
The advantages of the present invention are preferably attained by confining the hypergolic fluid in a container having a closure member which is spring-biased to an open position but which is normally retained in a closed position by a cable secured by an electrically-detonated, explosive, cable-cutting device located externally of said container; and providing expendable support means for mounting said container in the throat of a rocket nozzle.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide improved ignition means for solid rocket motors.
Another object of the present invention is to provide ignition means for solid rocket motors which precludes inadvertent release of the ignition material.
A further object of the present invention is to provide an improved container and mounting means for retaining hypergolic fluid for ignition of solid rocket motors.
These and other objects and features of the present in- States Patent 3,541 ,796 Patented Nov. 24, 1970 lice vention will be apparent from the following detailed description taken with reference to the accompanying drawing.
In the drawing:
The single figure is a transverse section showing an ignition means embodying the present invention mounted in the throat of a rocket nozzle.
In that form of the present invention chosen for purposes of illustration, the drawing shows a rocket motor 2 lined with propellant material 4 and having a nozzle 6 formed with a throat 8. A container 10, formed of any suitable material, is mounted in the throat 8 by mounting means 12 formed of a material which can readily be consumed by heat or be discharged upon ignition of the rocket motor. It has been found that foamed polystyrene is admirably suited for this purpose. The container 10 is formed with a neck 14 provided with a discharge opening 16 and has a hollow boss 18 located centrally of the container 10 and extending the full length thereof. The end of boss 18 adjacent opening 16 is provided with an enlarged portion 20 formed with an internal shoulder surrounding the central aperture 24 of boss 18. A closure member, such as cap 26, is formed with a main body 28 covering opening 16 provided with a first annular flange 30 engaging the neck 14 of container 10 and a second flange 32 engaging portion 20 of boss 18 to prevent leakage of fluid from within container 10. The cap 26 is normally retained in its closed position by a cable 34 which is attached to body 28 of cap 26 and extends through aperture 24 of boss 18 to an electrically-actuable explosive, cable cutter 36 which bears against the closed end of container 10 and is connected by conductors 38 to a suitable actuating source, not shown. Finally a spring 40 is disposed within the enlarged portion 20 of boss 18 and is compressed between body 28 of cap 26 and shoulder 22 of boss 18 to urge cap 26 outwardly.
In operation container 10 is filled with hypergolic igniter fluid, preferably under pressure. Cap 26-is secured in its closed position by cable 34 and cable cutter 36 to provide a sealed unit which is spill-proof and tamperproof. Obviously, if desired, this sealed unit may be employed, with or without mounting means 12, for handling and shipping of the hypergolic fluid and for other similar purposes. This sealed unit is mounted in the throat 8 of rocket motor 2 by mounting means 12 and electrical conductors 38 are connected to the cable cutter 36. To ignite the rocket motor 2, an electrical signal is applied via conductors 38 to fire the cable cutter 36. This severs cable 34, allowing spring 40 to force cap 26 open, releasing the hypergolic igniter fluid to flow through opening 16 to ignite the propellant material 4. Upon ignition of the propellant material 4, the resulting heat and pressure will cause mounting means 12 and container 10 to be consumed and discharged from the throat 8.
Obviously numerous variations and modifications may be made without departing from the present invention. Accordingly, it should be clearly understood that the form of the invention described above and shown in the accompanying drawing is illustrative only and is not intended to limit the scope of the invention.
What is claimed is:
1. Container means for hypergolic fluids, said container means comprising:
a container having a neck and formed with a hollow boss projecting inwardly from the side of said container opposite said neck;
a closure member engageable with said neck and said boss to prevent fluid leakage from said container;
resilient means urging said closure means to an open position;
cable means connected to said closure means and extending through said boss; and
retainer means releasably engaging said cable means and the exterior of said container to normally secure said cable and said closure means in a closed position.
2. The device of claim 1 wherein:
said retainer-means is an electrically-actuable, explosive, cable cutter.
3. The device of claim 1, further comprising:
heat consumable means for mounting said container in the throat of a solid rocket engine.
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,974,484 3/1961 Cooley. 3,224,628 12/1965 Emigh et al. 220-47 3,254,603 6/ 1966 Gould 60256 XR 3,461,672 8/1969 Harris et al. 60256 CARLTON R. CROYLE, Primary Examiner US. Cl. X.R.