Home » News & Blogs » New solid propellant separates the fuel from the oxidizer
Bookmark and Share
The Original Rocket Dungeon

New solid propellant separates the fuel from the oxidizer

25 Oct 2014, 03:05 UTC
New solid propellant separates the fuel from the oxidizer
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

"Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists recently flight tested a new rocket design that includes a high-energy fuel and a motor design that also delivers a high degree of safety."What we're trying to do is break the performance versus sensitivity curve, and make a rocket that's both very high-energy, as well as very safe,"said Bryce Tappan, an energetic materials chemist. "Typically, when you look at a propellant that's high-performance, it's not as safe a material."Conventional solid-fuel rocket motors work by combining a fuel and an oxidizer, a material usually rich in oxygen, to enhance the burning of the fuel. In higher-energy fuels this mixture can be somewhat unstable, and can contain sensitive high explosives that can detonate under high shock loads, high temperatures, or other conditions.The new rocket fuel and motor design adds a higher degree of safety by separating the fuel from the oxidizer, both novel formulations that are, by themselves, not able to detonate."Because the fuel is physically separated from the oxidizer," said Tappan, "you can utilize higher-energy propellants."After years of development and bench-top static tests, the new rocket design was recently flight tested at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center's Socorro launch site, part of New Mexico ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod