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Cleaning your RMS Case after a Launch


LenForsyth
(@lenforsyth)
Member Admin Club Member
Joined: 5 months ago
Posts: 58
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CLEANING YOUR RMS CASES

Cleaning an Aerotech RMS (Reusable Motor System) case properly after use is essential for maintaining its performance and longevity. Here are the best practices for cleaning an RMS case:

  1. Disassembly: First, carefully disassemble the motor according to the manufacturer's instructions. It's important to do this as soon as possible after the launch to prevent any residue from hardening, making it more difficult to clean.

  2. Initial Cleaning:

    • Remove any loose black powder or debris from the case and its components.
    • For black powder ejection charges, be sure to clean out the ejection charge cap and check for any residue in the threads.
  3. Soaking:

    • Soak the disassembled parts in warm, soapy water. A mild detergent or dish soap works well. This will help loosen the burnt-on propellant residue.
    • For stubborn deposits, soaking overnight may be necessary.
  4. Scrubbing:

    • After soaking, use a nylon brush, toothbrush, or specialized cleaning brush to scrub the interior and exterior of the casing, as well as the nozzle and any other components. Avoid using metal brushes or abrasive materials that could scratch the surfaces.
    • Pay special attention to the threads and o-ring grooves, as propellant residue can accumulate here.
  5. Rinse and Dry:

    • Thoroughly rinse all parts with clean water to remove any soap residue and loosened dirt.
    • Allow the parts to air dry completely before reassembly. Water can cause corrosion if not fully dried.
  6. Inspection:

    • Before reassembly, inspect all components for signs of wear or damage, such as cracks, erosion, or significant scratches. Pay special attention to the o-rings and replace them if they show signs of degradation or damage.
  7. Lubrication:

    • Apply a thin layer of manufacturer-recommended grease to the o-rings and threads (if specified) to ensure a good seal and protect against corrosion.
  8. Reassembly:

    • Carefully reassemble the motor case according to the manufacturer's instructions, ensuring that all parts fit together smoothly and securely.
  9. Storage:

    • Store the cleaned and reassembled RMS case in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

ULTRASONIC CLEANERS FOR USE WHEN YOU AND YOUR ROCKET GET BACK HOME

Well now that we have dispensed with manual cleaning about using an ultrasonic cleaner for cleaning your rocket motor case, such as an Aerotech RMS (Reusable Motor System). DO theyoffers several advantages that can make the cleaning process more efficient and effective.

Let us examine this. Here are some key benefits:

  1. Deep Cleaning: Ultrasonic cleaners work by generating high-frequency sound waves that produce microscopic bubbles in a cleaning solution through a process called cavitation. When these bubbles collapse, they create a powerful cleaning action that reaches into even the smallest crevices and detailed areas of the motor case, removing dirt, residue, and deposits more effectively than manual cleaning methods.

  2. Time-Saving: The process is much quicker than manual scrubbing, especially for complex parts with intricate designs or hard-to-reach areas. You can thoroughly clean the motor case and components in a fraction of the time it would take to do so by hand.

  3. Reduced Physical Effort: Since the ultrasonic cleaner does the hard work, there's no need for vigorous scrubbing or abrasive tools that could potentially damage the parts. This not only saves physical effort but also minimizes the risk of causing scratches or other damage to the surface of the motor case.

  4. Safety: By using an ultrasonic cleaner, you reduce the need to handle harsh chemicals or solvents that might be required to remove stubborn residues. This can make the cleaning process safer for you and also reduce the environmental impact associated with disposing of used chemicals.

  5. Consistency: Ultrasonic cleaning provides consistent results, ensuring that every part of the motor case and components is cleaned to the same standard. This uniformity is especially important for high-performance applications where even small amounts of residue can affect the performance of the rocket motor.

  6. Preservation of Detail: For motors with intricate designs or sensitive components, ultrasonic cleaning ensures that these details are preserved without the risk of damage from manual cleaning methods. This is particularly beneficial for preserving the integrity of precision components.

  7. Versatility: Ultrasonic cleaners can be used with a variety of cleaning solutions, allowing you to tailor the cleaning process to the specific type of residue or contamination present on the motor case. Whether it's burnt-on propellant or oily residues, there's likely a cleaning solution that can be used effectively in an ultrasonic cleaner.

PLEASE NOTE - SOME HIGH-POWERED, HIGH-FREQUENCY CLEANERS CAN CAUSE TARNISHING ON SOME ALUMINUM CASES

This affect may depend on the type of anodisation on your case and the type of medium used in the transducer.

While ultrasonic cleaners offer significant advantages, it's important to select the right type of cleaning solution and use the cleaner according to the manufacturer's instructions. Certain materials may require specific cleaning solutions or settings to avoid damage. Always check the compatibility of your motor case and components with the cleaning process to ensure the best results.

It's always recommended that you consult the manufacturer's guidelines for cleaning and maintenance for all cleaning methods and case types, as specific recommendations can vary between different models and designs. Following these guidelines helps maintain your RMS case's performance and ensures safety for future launches.


   
JeremySim reacted
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(@dave)
New Member Club Member
Joined: 4 months ago
Posts: 2
 

Hi Len - I don't have any RMS cases but I've cleaned a bunch of gunk off CTI cases. For Step 3 use some white vinegar - it works a treat (wash well afterwards)


   
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