Methyl Chloroform Elimination from the Production of Space Shuttle Sold Rocket MotorsThiokol Space Operations manufactures the Reusable Solid Rocket Motors used to launch America's fleet of Space Shuttles. In 1989, Thiokol used more than 1.4 Mlb of methyl chloroform to produce rocket motors. The ban placed by the Environmental Protection Agency on the sale of methyl chloroform had a significant effect on future Reusable Solid Rocket Motor production. As a result, changes in the materials and processes became necessary. A multiphased plan was established by Thiokol in partnership with NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center to eliminate the use of methyl chloroform in the Reusable Solid Rocket Motor production process. Because of the extensive scope of this effort, the plan was phased to target the elimination of the majority of methyl chloroform use (90 percent) by January 1, 1996, the 3 Environmental Protection Agency deadline. Referred to as Phase I, this effort includes the elimination of two large vapor degreasers, grease diluent processes, and propellant tooling handcleaning using methyl chloroform. Meanwhile, a request was made for an essential use exemption to allow the continued use of the remaining 10 percent of methyl chloroform after the 1996 deadline, while total elimination was pursued for this final, critical phase (Phase II). This paper provides an update to three previous presentations prepared for the 1993, 1994, and 1995 CFC/Halon Alternative Conferences, and will outline the overall Ozone Depleting Compounds Elimination Program from the initial phases through the final testing and implementation phases, including facility and equipment development. Processes and materials to be discussed include low-pressure aqueous wash systems, high-pressure water blast systems- environmental shipping containers, aqueous and semi-aqueous cleaning solutions, and bond integrity and inspection criteria. Progress toward completion of facility implementation and lessons learned during the scope of the program, as well as the current development efforts and basic requirements of future methyl chloroform handcleaning elimination, will also be outlined.
Golde, Rick P. (Thiokol Corp. Brigham City, UT United States)
Burt, Rick (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
Key, Leigh (NASA Marshall Space Flight Center Huntsville, AL United States)
August 17, 2013
March 1, 1997
Publication: Second Aerospace Environmental Technology Conference