Innovative Solid Rocket Propellant Formulations for Space Propulsion

Innovative Solid Rocket Propellant Formulations for Space Propulsion

Luigi T. DeLuca (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Manfred A. Bohn (Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie (ICT), Germany), Volker Gettwert (Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie (ICT), Germany), Volker Weiser (Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie (ICT), Germany) and Claudio Tagliabue (Fraunhofer-Institut für Chemische Technologie (ICT), Germany)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 24
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2903-3.ch001


Solid rocket propulsion enjoys unique properties favoring its use in space exploration and military missions still for decades to come. Yet, it also suffers a limited performance especially in terms of gravimetric specific impulse. Although new high-energy materials have been identified, most of them are far from being practically usable in the short range. Presently, no integrated vehicle designs make use of these new ingredients. A broad overview is discussed in this paper and attention is paid to Ammonium Dinitramide, ADN to overcome the current limitations of Ammonium Perchlorate, AP. The latter imply not only a limited gravimetric specific impulse but also a negative impact on the environment and personal health. ADN-based dual-oxidizer formulations, with Al-based dual-metal fuels and inert or energetic binders, are promising solutions for a variety of solid rocket propulsion missions aiming respectively at minimizing environmental impact (ADN + AN) or maximizing performance (ADN + AP).
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Roman Symbols

  • ADN: Ammonium DiNitramide

  • AN: Ammonium Nitrate

  • AP: Ammonium Perchlorate

  • ARC: Atlantic Research Corporation

  • BAMO: 3,30-Bis(AzidoMethyl) Oxetane

  • BC: Before Christ

  • BFF: 3,4-bis(3-fluorodinitro-methyl furazan-4-oxy)furazan

  • BHEGA: N, N-bis(2-hydroxyethyl)glycol amide, bonding agent also known as HX-880; BHEGA may act also as a cross-linker

  • BPS: Bis-Propargyl Succinate

  • Bu-NENA: n-Butyl-NitratoEthylNitrAmine

  • ca: circa

  • CalTech: CALifornia institute of TEChnology

  • CCP: Condensed Combustion Products

  • CL-20: 2,4,6,8,10,12-hexanitro-2,4,6,8,10,12-hexaazaisowurtzitane, also known as HNIW

  • CMDB: Composite Modified Double-Base

  • CTPB: Carboxyl-Terminated PolyButadiene

  • DB: Double-Base

  • EMCDB: Elastomer Modified Cast Double-Base

  • ESA: European Space Agency

  • ESD: ElectroStatic Discharge

  • FOI: Swedish Defence Research Agency

  • GALCIT: Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory at California Institute of Technology

  • GAP: Glycidyl Azide Polymer

  • GUDN: GuanylUrea-DiaNitramide, also called FOX-12

  • HADNMNT: HydroxylAmmonium 2-DiNitroMethyl-5-NitroTetrazolate

  • HATO: diHydroxylAmmonium 5,5’-bisTetrazole-1,1’-diOlate (also known as TKX-50)

  • HBIW: HexaBenzylhexaazaIsoWurtzitane

  • HEM: High-Energy Materials

  • HMX: cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine, High Melting Explosive (also known as Octogen, Her Majesty’s Explosive)

  • HNF: Hydrazinium nitroformate

  • HNIW: 2,4,6,8,10,12-HexaNitro-2,4, 6,8,10,12-HexaazaIsoWurtzitane, commonly known as CL-20

  • HTPB: Hydroxyl-Terminated PolyButadiene

  • HTPE: Hydroxyl-Terminated PolyEther

  • ICBM: InterContinental Ballistic Missile

  • ICP: Institute of Chemical Physics

  • ICT: Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology

  • IM: Insensitive Munitions

  • Is: Gravimetric Specific Impulse

  • JATO: Jet Assisted Take Off

  • JPL: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

  • KP: Potassium Perchlorate

  • NASA: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • nAl: nano-sized Al particles

  • NC: NitroCellulose

  • NEPE: Nitrate Ester Plasticized polyEther (or Nitrate Ester PolyEther)

  • NG: NitroGlycerine

  • OB: Oxygen Balance

  • PBAA: PolyButadiene Acrylic Acid

  • PBAN: PolyButadiene AcryloNitrile

  • PDL: Pressure Deflagration Limit

  • PETN: PentaErythritol Tetra Nitrate

  • PGN: Poly-Glycidyl Nitrate

  • PU: Polyurethane

  • RDX: cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine, Research Department explosive (also known as Hexogen, Cyclonite, T4, Royal Demolition Explosive)

  • SL: Skeleton Layer

  • SNPE: Société Nationale des Poudres et des Explosifs (1971–2013)

  • Tf: Adiabatic flame temperature

  • THF: TetraHydroFuran

  • USA: United States of America

  • XLDB: Cross-Linked Double-Base

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