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Thermographic Leak Detection of the Space Shuttle Main Engine NozzleThe Space Shuttle Main Engines Nozzles consist of over one thousand tapered Inconel coolant tubes brazed to a stainless steel structural jacket. Liquid Hydrogen flows through the tubing, from the aft to forward end of the nozzle, under high pressure to maintain a thermal balance between the rocket exhaust and the nozzle wall. Three potential problems occur within the SSME nozzle coolant tubes as a result of manufacturing anomalies and the highly volatile service environment including poor or incomplete bonding of the tubes to the structural jacket, cold wall leaks and hot wall leaks. Of these conditions the identification of cold wall leaks has been the most problematic. The methods and results presented in this summary addresses the thermographic identification of cold wall "interstitial" leaks between the structural jacket and coolant tubes of the Space Shuttle Main Engines Nozzles.
Document ID
19990040926
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Authors
Walker, James L. (Alabama Univ. Huntsville, AL United States)
Russell, Samuel S. (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1999
Subject Category
Spacecraft Propulsion and Power
Funding Number(s)
CONTRACT_GRANT: NAG8-1548
Distribution Limits
Public
Copyright
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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