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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

ISSN Print: 2150-766X
ISSN Online: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.v7.i3.60
pages 253-262

NEW ENERGETIC MATERIALS FOR THE PROPULSION OF SPACE VEHICLES AND ROCKETS

Haridwar Singh
High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, Pune 411 021; University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
S. P. Tiwari
Advanced Center of Research in High Energy Materials (ACRHEM), University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad

ABSTRACT

The advent of new energetic materials such as ADN, HNF, NTO, CL-20, etc., the availability of energetic binders such as GAP, BAMO, AMMO etc., energetic plasticizers such as butyl NENA, DANPE, etc. has opened a new era in the development of advanced solid propellants, capable of delivering a very high energy (Isp ∼ 300 s). The emergence of nano-energetic materials is likely to change the scene of advanced propellants drastically. This paper reports the results of research and development carried out on propellants based on HNF, CL-20, and metallic powders, like Zr and Ti, with both conventional and energetic binders, and energetic plasticizers. Advanced solid propellant compositions containing 60% RDX along with GAP as the energetic binder and TMETN as the energetic plasticizer produced burn rate of around 15 mm/s, whereas a composition containing CL-20 and GAP produced burn rates of 20 mm/s. CL-20 has an edge over RDX/HMX, as a potential oxidizer or high energy additive. The combination of HNF with GAP and the BAMO/THF co-polymer as a binder with metal hydrides appears to be highly promising when taking into account energy considerations. The of 40% HNF in a NC-NG matrix with GAP as the energetic plasticizer produced a burn rate of 36mm/s at 9 MPa with a pressure index of 0.70 and is capable of producing Isp of 270 s. The use of 50-60% Zr powder-based fuel rich propellants produced stable combustion in a primary motor. The replacement of conventional plasticizers with energetic plasticizers raised the burn rate by 2-3 fold for Ti- and Ni-based fuel rich propellants.