Volume 1, 2009Progress in Propulsion Physics
|81 - 96
|Solid Rocket Propulsion
|16 September 2011
Ammonium nitrate as an oxidizer in solid composite propellants
Despite the fact that ammonium nitrate (AN) has the highest hydrogen content and fairly high oxygen balance (compared to other oxidizers), its extremely low formation enthalpy and relatively low density makes it one of the worst power oxidizers in solid composite propellants (SCP). Nevertheless, AN has certain advantages − the combustion of the compositions containing AN is virtually safe, its combustion products are ecologically clean, it is very accessible and cheap, and also very thermostable (far more stable than ammonium dinitramide (ADN)). Besides, its low density stops being a disadvantage if the propellant has to be used in deep space and therefore, must be carried there with other rocket carriers. The low cost of AN may also become a serious advantage in the AN application even in lower stages of multistage space launchers as well as in one-stage space launchers with low mass fraction of the propellant. The main specific features relevant to the creation of AN-based SCPs with the optimal energetic characteristics are discussed. The use of metals and their hydrides and proper fuel-binders as well as the recent successes in phase stabilization of AN are described.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2009