Space shuttle SRM field joint: Review paper

  • S. Mohammad Gharouni
  • Hamid M. Panahiha
  • Jafar Eskandari Jam
Keywords: Field joint, Tang, Clevis, SRB, Capture Feature.


Due to Challenger space shuttle accident in 1986, significant research has been done concerning structural behavior of field joints in solid rocket boosters (SRB). The structural deformations between the clevis inner leg and the tang (male-to-female parts of joint), the sealing of the O-ring to prevent the hot gas in joints, has been neglected causing the failure of the vehicle. Redesigning the field joint in SRB engine by accurate analysis of dynamic and thermal loads and by design of insulator and good O-ring, the leakiness of combustion hot gases was eliminated. Some parts of field joint such as capture feature (CF) and its third O-ring, J-leg insulator and shim were added to redesigned field joint. Also, some adjustments in sealing system and pins were done to promote the efficiency of the field joint. Due to different experimental analysis on assembled field joints with default imperfections, redesigned joints operated well. These redesigned field joints are commonly used in aerospace and mechanical structures. This paper investigates the original and the redesigned field joints with additional explanations of different parts of the redesigned joints.


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