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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.142 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

ISSN Imprimer: 2150-766X
ISSN En ligne: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.v9.i3.30
pages 219-231


Toshiyuki Katsumi
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Nagaoka University of Technology, Japan
Ryuta Matsuda
Department of Aerospace Engineering, The Tokai University
Tomo Inoue
Department of Applied Chemistry, The Tokai University
Nobuyuki Tsuboi
Kyushu Institute of Technology
Hiroyuki Ogawa
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-ku, Sagamihara-shi, Kanagawa, Kanagawa, 252-5210, Japan
Shujiro Sawai
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan
Keiichi Hori
Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), 3-1-1 Yoshinodai, Chuo-Ku, Sagamihara, Kanagawa 252-5210, Japan


Hydroxylammonium nitrate (HAN) based liquid propellant has been investigated as a candidate for the monopropellant to be utilized in the reaction control system of satellites as an alternative to hydrazine. This propellant, which consists of ammonium nitrate, methanol, and water, has moderate burning characteristics, sufficiently low freezing temperature, high density, low toxicity, and its density × Isp is 70% higher than hydrazine. In a previous study, the combustion characteristics of the propellants were obtained and found to be very complex. In this paper, the research was focused on the combustion characteristics of HAN aqueous solution. Sample solutions of several concentrations, 95-50 mass %, were prepared. The measurement of linear burning rates, the temperature measurement of the combustion wave, and the observation of combustion phenomena were included in the study. The linear burning rate does not increase monotonically with increasing HAN concentration. The burning rates increase as the HAN concentration increases up to 80 mass %, and decrease as the concentration increases from 80 to 95 mass %. The burning rate peaks at around 80 mass % of HAN concentration. The combustion mode is very complex and is dependent upon composition and pressure. Temperature measurements indicate that the role of the two-phase region is very important, and the boiling of water caused by superheat is responsible for the high burning rate. The relationship between the rate of nucleation of bubbles and the linear burning rate is discussed.