Volume 1, 2009Progress in Propulsion Physics
|Page(s)||31 - 46|
|Section||Solid Rocket Propulsion|
|Published online||16 September 2011|
New high energetic composite propellants for space applications: refrigerated solid propellant
Cryogenic solid propellants (CSP) are a new kind of chemical propellants that use frozen products to ensure the mechanical resistance of the grain. The objective is to combine the high performances of liquid propulsion and the simplicity of solid propulsion. The CSP concept has few disadvantages. Storability is limited by the need of permanent cooling between motor loading and firing. It needs insulations that increase the dry mass. It is possible to limit significantly these drawbacks by using a cooling temperature near the ambient one. It will permit not to change the motor materials and to minimize the supplementary dry mass due to insulator. The designation “Refrigerated Solid Propellant” (RPS) is in that case more appropriate as “Cryogenic Solid Propellant.” SNPE Matériaux Energétiques is developing new concept of composition e e with cooling temperature as near the ambient temperature as possible. They are homogeneous and the main ingredients are hydrogen peroxide, polymer and metal or metal hydride, they are called “HydroxalaneTM.” This concept allows reaching a high energy level. The expected specific impulse is between 355 and 375 s against 315 s for hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) / ammonium perchlorate (AP) / Al composition. However, the density is lower than for current propellants, between 1377 and 1462 kg/m3 compared to around 1800 kg/m3 . This is an handicap only for volume-limited application. Works have been carried out at laboratory scale to define the quality of the raw materials and the manufacturing process to realize sample and small grain in a safer manner. To assess the process, a small grain with an internal bore had been realized with a composition based on aluminum and water. This grain had shown very good quality, without any defect, and good bonding properties on the insulator.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2009