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

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

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.v6.i5.30
pages 575-588

ELECTROLYTIC-INDUCED DECOMPOSITION AND IGNITION OF HAN-BASED LIQUID MONOPROPELLANTS

Grant A. Risha
The Pennsylvania State University-Altoona, Altoona, Pennsylvania 16601, USA
Richard A. Yetter
The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA
Vigor Yang
Department of Mechanical Engineering The Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA 16802, USA; School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA

ABSTRACT

Experimental results are reported on the ignition characteristics of XM46 liquid propellant at room conditions using electrolysis. The ignition system employed a titanium microfin electrode module, which is comprised of 8 parallel fins evenly spaced with separation distance of 1-mm. Each fin has a dimension of 9 × 19 × 0.25 mm generating a surface area of approximately 350 mm2. Input voltage to the electrodes ranged from 7 to 26 VDC and electrode surface area ranged from 1050 to 4200 mm2. Experiments were performed in a liquid strand burner in which the propellant ignited, combusted, and propagated downward. The propellant initially bubbled at the surface of the electrodes and then ignited to establish a self-propagating thermal wave. The observed linear burning rates were consistent with extrapolated values of published rates at higher pressures. At one atmosphere, a highly luminous gas-phase flame positioned above the surface of the propellant was not observed. A higher input voltage facilitated the gasification of XM46 while minimizing the total energy required. The time delay to peak power (reactivity) decayed exponentially from 160 seconds to 2-3 seconds with an increase in the input voltage from 7 to 12 VDC. Beyond 12 VDC, the time delay dependency became less significant and appeared to remain constant. Peak power increased from 30 to 550 W when the input voltage was increased from 7 to 15 VDC. The power density decreased with increasing surface area indicating that the power was not linearly dependent on electrode surface area. The propellant liquid temperature reached a nearly steady-state temperature of 115°C, which agrees with the temperature or pure HAN during thermal decomposition.


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