Thursday, January 26, 2012

Solid Propellant Burn Rate Enhancement in Rocketry

A REVIEW OF SOLID PROPELLANT BURN RATE ENHANCEMENT BY MECHANICAL METHODS

DAVID REESE

Abstract. The inclusion of metal fibers in a solid propellant grain has been shown to increase its bulk burning rate dramatically, and is a technology that was applied in several early sounding rockets. This review covers historical and current applications for the technology, as well as the theoretical basis for burning rate enhancement. Though technically successful, the use of wires to achieve high burning rates has largely been replaced with the use of reactive catalysts and other high burning rate energetic materials. However, recent concern over the sensitivity of such propellants is generating interest in other means of accelerating burn rates. As such, several practical research topics involving wire enhancement of burning rates are presented to reintroduce this technology into the motor designer’s toolbox.

TDK Propulsion

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