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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.28 SNIP: 0.421 CiteScore™: 0.9

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

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.v5.i1-6.210
pages 195-205

COMBUSTION CHARACTERISTICS OF KEROSENE CONTAINING ALEX® NANO-ALUMINUM

Frederick Tepper
Argonide Corp, 1-4 Industrial Park, Sanford, Florida, 32771, USA
L. A. Kaledin
Argonide Corporation, Sanford, Florida, USA

RÉSUMÉ

Aluminum is a highly energetic metal that can react with a wide variety of oxidizers to produce propellants with high specific impulse. When added to kerosene rocket fuel aluminum substantially increases theoretical volumetric density Isp, potentially reducing the size of tankage and overall system weight. However, aluminum tends to agglomerate in burning liquid hydrocarbon droplets delaying combustion within the engine, reducing delivered performance. Gels were formulated of 0, 25, 30 and 55 weight percent Alex® nano aluminum powder in RP-1 (kerosene) using a combination of wetting and gelling agents. The viscosity of such gels was measured as a function of aluminum content, temperature and shear rate and were found to be non-Newtonian, so called yield pseudoplastic. At loadings greater than 30 weight percent Alex® no foreign gellant is necessary to achieve dynamic stability as measured by centrifuging the gels at 1300 rpm for one hour. In contrast, micron size aluminum gels required 5% fumed silica as a gellant to achieve dynamic stability, as did the gels containing 5% Alex®. Ignition delay of Alex®/RP-1 gels were determined in a laboratory bomb over the temperature range 400−600°C and compared to RP-1 gels without any aluminum and to neat RP-1. The data show that nano aluminum could be completely consumed during the interval of spraying in a short laboratory bomb. Moreover, the combustion of Alex® accelerated the ignition of the RP-1.


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