Volume 11, 2019Progress in Propulsion Physics – Volume 11
|Page(s)||699 - 712|
|Published online||08 February 2019|
Exploratory investigations on metal-based fuels for air-breathing propulsion
Politecnico di Milano Department of Aerospace Science and Technology Space Propulsion Laboratory (SPLab) 34 via La Masa, Milano I-20156, Italy
Air-breathing solid fueled propulsion devices represent rugged, cheap, and rather simple options, out of the ramjet (RJ) category, which can contribute to volume containment and structural weight reduction. In the case of a ducted rocket, a fuel-rich propellant is burned in a primary combustion chamber and part of the oxidizer is taken from the atmosphere to complete the combustion inside a ram burner before exhaust. The use of metal additives contributes to the development of high-energy density materials, featuring better volumetric specific impulse. Metal powders are characterized by high energetic content per unit volume but can feature issues of difficult ignition, generation of condensed combustion products (CCPs), and incomplete combustion. The present work discusses a series of exploratory investigations on aluminum-based pyrolants. Thermochemical analyses, calorimetric investigations, and combustion tests will be considered, looking at improvements introduced by metal addition.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.