Research Group


Test thrust chamber structures
The Thermo-Mechanical-Fatigue (TMF) test facility is used to test thrust chamber structures under thermal loads that are representative of rocket propulsion systems. With the aid of image correlation software, the stereo photos taken can be used to calculate 3D surface deformation fields.

The work of the Structures Group focuses on:

  • thermomechanical analysis,
  • the material behaviour both under a single load and under cyclical load changes,
  • the service life (LCF or HCF) resulting from these load changes (due to material fatigue),
  • hydrogen embrittlement,
  • and the influence of reducing and oxidizing flows on the service life.

Numerical models are being developed for the following rocket engine components:

  • Injector head structures,
  • combustion chamber wall structures,
  • nozzle wall structures,
  • nozzle extension wall structures,
  • impellers of turbopumps and turbine blades of turbopumps.

A test facility is available for the experimental investigation of the thermomechanical fatigue of combustion chamber wall and nozzle wall structures, on which cyclic loads can be simulated under controlled conditions at representative heat flows of up to 25 MW/m2. The aim of these experimental investigations is to validate and (if necessary) improve or develop numerical service life prediction models.


Dr.-Ing. Jörg Riccius

Group Leader
German Aerospace Center (DLR)
Institute of Space Propulsion
Rocket Propulsion Technology
Im Langen Grund, 74239 Hardthausen