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O-ring sealing verification for the space shuttle redesign solid rocket motorAs a part of the redesign of the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Motor, the field and nozzle-to-case joints were redesigned to minimize the dynamic flexure caused by internal motor pressurization during ignition. The O-ring seals and glands for the joints were designed to accommodate both structural deflections and to promote pressure assistance. A test program was conducted to determine if a fluorocarbon elastomeric O-ring could meet this criteria in the redesigned gland. Resiliency tests were used to investigate the O-ring response to gap motion while static seal tests were used to verify design criteria of pressure assistance for sealing. All tests were conducted in face seal fixtures mounted in servo-hydraulic test machines. The resiliency of the O-ring was found to be extremely sensitive to the effects of temperature. The External Tank/Solid Rocket Booster attach strut loads had a negligible affect on the ability of the O-ring to track the simulated SRB field joint deflection. In the static pressure-assisted seal tests, as long as physical contact was maintained between the O-ring and the gland sealing surface, pressure assistance induced instantaneous sealing.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Technical Memorandum (TM)
Lach, Cynthia L.
(NASA Langley Research Center Hampton, VA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
May 1, 1989
Subject Category
Structural Mechanics
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.15:101591
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 505-63-01-05
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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