Inner Components Basics

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Internal components vary widely in how they can be used. And, sometimes a picture can explain things easier than a thousand words, so here is the rocket that will be used to identify different internal components and their most common use.

Component Function
Components.03.01.Inner.Inner Tube.png

Inner Tubes: The one common element that the majority of rockets have is the use of an inner tube to hold the motor. Like centering rings inner tubes have many, many other uses.


Couplers: Couplers are generally thicker than other inner tubes so that they can strengthen the joint between the tubes that they are joining. Inner tubes, with lids, are also used to make avionics bays to protect altimeters and other electronic components


Centering Rings: Most rockets have centering rings that are used to center the inner tube being used for the engine or motor between it and the outer body tube. When motor clusters are used, the disks with the holes for the inner engine or motor tubes are also called centering rings. When used this way, the centering rings are really centering the thrust vector. Centering rings have a myriad of other uses as well, from making baffles to adjustable weight systems.


Bulkheads: Bulkheads are a flat disk, like a plate. Most frequently bulkheads are glued inside of another tube to either prevent ejection gasses from passing or mount recovery attachments to. Bulkheads of two different diameters are also commonly glued together to make inset lids for avionics bays.


Engine Blocks:The purpose for an engine block is reflected in its name. The engine block is a short, thick, smaller diameter inner tube that is glued inside the forward end of the inner tube being used to hold the engine or motor, and, when the engine is pushed into the inner tube, the engine block physically blocks its path, preventing it from going in any further. Tape is usually wrapped around the engine before inserting to bind it enough that the ejection charge doesn't blow it out, but not so much that it can't be removed after the flight.

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