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Modelling of composite propellant properties

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Author: Keizers, H.L.J. · Hordijk, A.C. · Vliet, L.D. van · Bouquet, F.
Source:36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, Huntsville, AL, USA, 17-19 July 2000, 10
Identifier: 426158
Report number: AIAA-2000-3323 AIAA A00-36552
Keywords: Composite propellants · Design of experiments · Propulsion · Binder systems · Cost effective · Design tradeoff · Development programmes · Model use · Propellant ingredient · Semi-empirical · Solid particles · Propellants


State-of-the-art composite propellants are based on solid particles (AP, Aluminium) in a polymeric HTPB based binder system. The usability of a propellant for a particular application is dependent on a large number of properties. These different properties sometimes result in contradictory requirements and design trade-off need to be made. In this paper a results of a propellant study are presented, showing the potential to predict some of the important propellant parameters (ballistic, mechanical and producibility properties). At the TNO Prins Maurits Laboratory a computermodel was developed to predict some of these parameters. This model uses semiempirical relationship and input from small-scale characterisation tests. Using the Design Of Experiments technique a test plan was set-up and obtained results were compared to predictions made. Close correlations were found for a number of the parameters evaluated. The current study was performed on a state-of-the-art AP/HTPB composition. However, the methodologies used are sufficiently general to be applicable for new energetic propellant development programmes and can therefore be used to assess the possibilities and limitations of future propellant ingredients in a time and cost effective way. © 2000 TNO Prins Maurits Laboratory, the Netherlands. Published by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Inc.