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Physical Property and Carbon Black Distribution Impact on Propulsion Efficiency of Paraffin-Based Fuel

[+] Author Affiliations
Genivaldo P. Santos, Shirley M. Pedreira, Pedro T. Lacava

Aeronautical Technology Institute, São José dos Campos, SP, Brazil

Paper No. IMECE2012-89201, pp. 529-541; 13 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 1: Advances in Aerospace Technology
  • Houston, Texas, USA, November 9–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4517-2
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


In the last decade the hybrid propulsion has been considering as a viable alternative of chemical energy conversion stored in propellants into kinetic energy. This energy is applied in propulsive systems of manned platforms, maneuvering procedures and even in the repositioning process of micro satellites. It is a system of minimum environmental impact and lower cost than traditional systems based on liquid or solid propellants. Paraffin based grains are the hybrid solid fuels appointed as polymeric fuel substitute. The liquid layer formed on the burning surface ensures high regression rate when driven into the flame front. Paraffin grains allow row material recovery and reduce the risk of explosion in the presence of erosive burning. The structure of the grain and the control of the liquefying burning surface layer depend on the additives concentration, such as carbon black, which are added to the fuel matrix during the production process. In the solid propellant paraffin based grain a cylindrical center port developed during the centrifugation tends to concentrate carbon black in the outer region of the grain. During solidification 15% of shrinkage occurs and appears hardness gradient in the longitudinal and transverse directions. The influence of carbon black distribution and hardness gradient in paraffin based grain were evaluated in this work. The study suggests that multiple thin layers grain may generate burning surfaces with hardness and carbon black concentration almost constant. The ballistic properties and propulsion efficiency of a hybrid lab rocket scale with 150 N of thrust were evaluated in the pressure of 2.8 MPa with 140 Kg/(sm2) gaseous oxygen (GOX) mass flux, the results show up the nozzle operation and motor-propellant relationships.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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