Effects of aluminum and iron nanoparticle additives on composite AP/HTPB solid propellant regression rate

Styborski, Jeremy A.
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Oehlschlaeger, Matthew A.
Bevilacqua, Riccardo
Anderson, Kurt S.
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Aeronautical engineering
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The study focused on the addition of nano-scale aluminum and iron in small concentrations to AP/HTPB solid propellants with an average AP particle size of 200 microns. Replacing 1% of the propellant's AP with 40-60 nm aluminum particles produced no change in combustive behavior. The addition of 1% 60-80 nm iron particles produced a significant increase in burn rate, although the increase was lesser at higher pressures. These results are summarized in Table 2. The increase in the burn rate at all pressures due to the addition of iron nanoparticles warranted further study on the effect of concentration of iron. Tests conducted at 10 atm showed that the mean regression rate varied with iron concentration, peaking at 1% and 3%. Regardless of the iron concentration, the regression rate was higher than the baseline AP/HTPB propellants. These results are summarized in Table 3.
This project was started in the interest of supplementing existing data on additives to composite solid propellants. The study on the addition of iron and aluminum nanoparticles to composite AP/HTPB propellants was conducted at the Combustion and Energy Systems Laboratory at RPI in the new strand-burner experiment setup. For this study, a large literature review was conducted on history of solid propellant combustion modeling and the empirical results of tests on binders, plasticizers, AP particle size, and additives.
May 2014
School of Engineering
Dept. of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
Rensselaer Theses and Dissertations Online Collection
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