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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.v5.i1-6.220
pages 206-218

COMBUSTION OF GELLED RP-1 PROPELLANT WITH ALEX® PARTICLES IN GASEOUS OXYGEN ATOMIZED SPRAYS

J. W. Mordosky
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 USA
Baoqi Zhang
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802 USA
George C. Harting
Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Frederick Tepper
Argonide Corp, 1-4 Industrial Park, Sanford, Florida, 32771, USA
L. A. Kaledin
Argonide Corporation, Sanford, Florida, USA

RÉSUMÉ

Combustion tests of gaseous oxygen atomized sprays of gelled RP-1 propellant with ultra-fine aluminum powder (Alex® powder) were performed in a rocket engine. The addition of aluminum particles to gelled RP-1 propellant has the potential to significantly increase the heat of reaction over RP-1 alone due to the high volumetric energy release of the aluminum. Previous studies of gelled RP-1 propellant with aluminum have yielded low combustion efficiencies. This may have been the result of incomplete combustion due to the aluminum particles being too large. Alex® particles with an average size of 100 nm are formed by exploding aluminum wires. The use of these nano-sized particles can, theoretically, lead to more complete combustion, and thus, lead to performance increases such as higher flame temperature, increased specific impulse, and greater c* combustion efficiency. The gel propellants were introduced through a coaxial injector and gaseous oxygen was used to atomize the gel. The engine operating conditions were as follows: chamber pressures ranging from 1−2.8 MPa (150−400 psia), gel propellant mass flow rates ranging from 8−40 g/s, gaseous oxygen mass flow rates ranging from 14−27 g/s, and O/F ratios ranging from 0.5−3.1. The percentage of Alex® particles in the gelled RP-1 propellant ranged from 0−55% by weight. The c* combustion efficiency was found to range from 70−99%. Test results indicate that the addition of Alex® particles to gelled RP-1 propellant increases not only the density specific impulse, but also the c* combustion efficiency over gelled non-aluminized RP-1 propellant. Results show that among the three formulations, the 5-wt% Alex gel appears to be the best in terms of range of c* efficiencies and the least data scatter.


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