# DISADVANTAGES OF SOLID PROPELLANT ROCKETS:
What Are The Disadvantages Of Solid Propellant Rockets?
- Explosion and fire potential is larger; failure can be catastrophic; most cannot accept bullet impact or being dropped onto a hard surface.
- Many require environmental permit and safety features for transport on public conveyances.
- Under certain conditions some propellants and grains can detonate.
- Cumulative grain damage occurs through temperature cycling or rough handling; this limits the useful life.
- If designed for reuse, it requires extensive factory rework and new propellants.
- Requires an ignition system.
- Each restart requires a separate ignition system and additional insulation–in practice, one or two restarts.
- Exhaust gases are usually toxic for composite propellants containing ammonium perchlorate.
- Some propellants or propellant ingredients can deteriorate (self-decompose) in storage.
- Most solid propellant plumes cause more radio frequency attenuation than liquid propellant plumes.
- Only some motors can be stopped at random, but motor becomes disabled (not reusable).
- Once ignited, cannot change predetermined thrust or duration. A moving pintle design with a variety throat area will allow random thrust changes, but experience is limited.
- If propellant contains more than a few percent particulate carbon, aluminum, or other metal, the exhaust will be smoky and the plume radiation will be intense.
- Integrity of grain (cracks, unbonded areas) is difficult to determine in the field.
- Thrust and operating duration will vary with initial ambient grain temperature and cannot be easily controlled. Thus the flight path, velocity, altitude, and range of a motor will vary with the grain temperature.
- Large boosters take a few seconds to start.
- Thermal insulation is required in almost all rocket motors.
- Cannot be tested prior to use.
- Needs a safety provision to prevent inadvertent ignition, which would lead to an unplanned motor firing. Can cause a disaster.
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