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This paper discusses the details of a detergent cleaning technique developed by Aerojet Propulsion Division that eliminates the use of CFC fluids in the cleaning of rocket engine test systems and components. The technique was successfully demonstrated during the construction and operation of a rocket engine test facility that uses chlorine pentafluoride (ClF5) and hydrazine (N2H4) propellants during the testing of engine components at thrust levels up to 4 448 N (1 000 lbf). A description of the detergent cleaning apparatus and the procedures used to clean the test stand components to a particulate level 100 (no particles greater than 100 microns), a non volatile residue value less than 43.1 milligrams per square meter (4.0 mg/ft 2) of significant surface area and a hydrocarbon content less than 10.8 milligrams per square meter (1.0 mg/ft 2) of significant surface area is provided. Aerojet's sampling and analysis procedures are also presented. The rocket engine test facility cleaned using the technique is fabricated from commercially available components that are primarily stainless steel and have flow paths less than 1.27 cm (0.5 in) in diameter. Cleaning of the valves, filters, check valves, turbine flowmeters, pressure transducers, and tubing is detailed. The facility has been used to successfully conduct over 5 500 thruster static hot firings, propellant tank sub-system tests and a full system hot fire demonstration consisting of three (3) engines, three (3) propellant tanks and associated propellant delivery and pressurization systems.
trichlorotrifluoroethane, replacement, CFC-113 replacement, cleaning methods, chlorine pentafluoride test facilities, chlorine pentafluoride, hydrazine, engine test facilities
Engineering Manager, Test and Laboratory Operations, Propulsion Division, Aerojet, Sacramento, CA
Senior Engineer, Test and Laboratory Operations, Propulsion Division, Aerojet, Sacramento, CA