Table of Contents:

  1. Applications Of Solid Propellant Rockets
  2. Double-Base Propellant
  3. Composite Propellant

Applications Of Solid Propellant Rockets:

There are two major application categories of solid propellant rockets in use.

  1. Double-Base Propellant
  2. Composite Propellant

Double-Base Propellant:

The first, the so called double-base propellant, consists of nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine, plus additives in small quantity. There is no separate fuel and oxidizer. The molecules are unstable, and upon ignition break apart and rearrange themselves, liberating large quantities of heat. These propellants lend themselves well to smaller rocket motors. They are often processed and formed by extrusion methods, although casting has also been employed.

Composite Propellant:

The other type of solid propellant is the composite. Here, separate fuel and oxidized chemicals are used, intimately mixed in the solid grain. The oxidizer is usually ammonium nitrate, potassium chlorate, or ammonium chlorate, and often comprises as much as four-fifths or more of the whole propellant mix. The fuels used are hydrocarbons, such as asphaltic-type compounds, or plastics. Because the oxidizer has no significant structural strength, the fuel must not only perform well but must also supply the necessary form and rigidity to the grain. Much of the research in solid propellants is devoted to improving the physical as well as the chemical properties of the fuel.

Ordinarily, in processing solid propellants the fuel and oxidizer components are separately prepared for mixing, the oxidizer being a powder and the fuel a fluid of varying consistency. They are then blended together under carefully controlled conditions and poured into the prepared rocket case as a viscous semisolid. They are then caused to set in curing chambers under controlled temperature and pressure.

Schematic Diagram Of Solid Propellant Rocket

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