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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.149 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

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

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.v7.i6.50
pages 523-547

THE MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN THE COMBUSTION OF A LIQUID OXIDIZER CAPSULE CONTAINED IN A SOLID FUEL

Avishag D. Pelosi
Faculty of Aerospace Engineering andAsher Space Research Institute Technion - Israel Institute of Technology Haifa 32000, Israel
Alon Gany
Sylvia and David IA Fine Rocket Propulsion Center and the Aerothermodynamics Lab, Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, 3200003, Israel

ABSTRACT

The combustion of a liquid oxidizer capsule contained in a solid fuel is an unexplored issue. The new concept is motivated by the potential enhancement of solid propellant energetic performance by the addition of a liquid oxidizer. A liquid oxidizer droplet is contained in a polymeric/metallic shell to ensure oxidizer and fuel separation and to avoid undesirable premature reaction. The combustion of a liquid oxidizer capsule with adjacent solid fuel is a cyclic complicated process, which includes heating of the liquid, mechanical/thermal rupture of the shell, liquid vaporization, and diffusion-dominated flame formation. The choice of the shell material has a major impact on its rupture mechanism, on the oxidizer release form, and on the resulting flame structure. When a polymeric shell is used, the configuration resembles the case of a liquid oxidizer droplet contained in a solid fuel. When the shell of the capsule is metallic, the expansion of the liquid oxidizer ruptures the capsule in the very initial stages of heating. To avoid premature oxidizer release, the capsule needs to be filled only partially. At supercritical conditions, the oxidizer is generally released as a gaseous puff. A one-dimensional mathematical model predicts fuel and oxidizer surface temperatures, flame height, and fuel regression rate as a function of operating pressure, capsule shell material, and oxidizer filling percentage. Contrary to AP-HTPB combustion, it is shown that the fuel always regresses more slowly than the oxidizer. The regression rates are typical to solid propellant combustion.


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