Effects of Nano-Sized Al on the Combustion Performance of Fuel Rich Solid Rocket Propellants

  • W.Q. Pang Xi’an Modern Chemistry Research Institute, Xi’an P.R.China 710065
  • F. Q. Zhao Xi’an Modern Chemistry Research Institute, Xi’an P.R.China 710065
  • L. T. DeLuca Space Propulsion Laboratory, Aerospace Science and Technology, Politecnico di Milano, Italy I-21056
  • C. Kappenstein Institute of Chemistry of Mediums and Materials of Poitiers, University of Poitiers, F-86073 Poitier, France
  • H. X. Xu Xi’an Modern Chemistry Research Institute, Xi’an P.R.China 710065
  • X. Z. Fan Xi’an Modern Chemistry Research Institute, Xi’an P.R.China 710065
Keywords: physical chemistry, fuel rich solid propellant, nano-sized Al powder, combustion property


Several industrial- and research – type fuel rich solid rocket propellants containing nano-metric aluminum metal particles, featuring the same nominal composition, were prepared and experimentally analyzed. The effects of nano-sized aluminum (nAl) on the rheological properties of metal/HTPB slurries and fuel rich solid propellant slurries were investigated. The energetic properties (heat of combustion and density) and the hazardous properties (impact sensitivity and friction sensitivity) of propellants prepared were analyzed and the properties mentioned above compared to those of a conventional aluminized (micro-Al, mAl) propellant. The strand burning rate and the associated combustion fl ame structure of propellants were also determined. The results show that nAl powder is nearly “round” or “ellipse” shaped, which is different from the tested micrometric Al used as a reference metal fuel. Two kinds of Al (nAl and mAl) powder can be dispersed in HTPB binder suffi ciently. The density of propellant decreases with increasing mass fraction of nAl powder; the measured heat of combustion, friction sensitivity, and impact sensitivity of propellants increase with increasing mass fraction of nAl powder in the formulation. The burning rates of fuel rich propellant increase with increasing pressure, and the burning rate of the propellant loaded with 20% mass fraction of nAl powder increases 77.2% at 1 MPa, the pressure exponent of propellant increase a little with increasing mass fraction of nAl powder in the explored pressure ranges.


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How to Cite
W. Pang, F. Zhao, L. DeLuca, C. Kappenstein, H. Xu, and X. Fan, “Effects of Nano-Sized Al on the Combustion Performance of Fuel Rich Solid Rocket Propellants”, Eurasian Chem. Tech. J., vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 197-206, Sep. 2016.