Thermal/Mechanical Analysis and Development of a 2000 lbf Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Methane Rocket Engine

Marissa Beatrice Garcia, University of Texas at El Paso


The Center for Space Exploration and Technology Research (cSETR) is developing three rocket engines: a 5 lbf reaction control engine, a 500 lbf engine, and a 2000 lbf engine. All these engines utilize a liquid oxygen and liquid methane propellant combination. The reason methane was selected for the fuel is because methane is easy to store, is self-pressurizing, and readily available. There is also the possibility of creating methane on planets such as Mars through an electrolysis process on the ice water found on Mars. The 2000 lbf engine, or the CROME-X, is a modular, steady-state pintle injector engine. It is also throttleable on a 4:1 ratio. The design is currently undergoing both mechanical and thermal analysis. The analysis is being conducted both in Altair Hypermesh software and in Abaqus CAE. In Altair Hypermesh, the analysis being conducted by component; a thermal and mechanical analysis for the combustion chamber and a thermal and mechanical analysis for the injector. In the Abaqus CAE analysis, the entire thrust chamber assembly is modeled and uses contact surface interaction. This thesis describes how to create the CROME-X models in both Hypermesh and Abaqus. It goes into detail on the boundary conditions used (symmetry and displacement constraints), the mechanical loads used (pressures and preloads), and the thermal loads (surface temperature and convection interaction) and how to model them in the two softwares in a step-by-step method.

Subject Area

Aerospace engineering

Recommended Citation

Garcia, Marissa Beatrice, "Thermal/Mechanical Analysis and Development of a 2000 lbf Liquid Oxygen/Liquid Methane Rocket Engine" (2019). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI27671405.