Study on Friction Sensitivity of Passive and Active Binder based Composite Solid Propellants and Correlation with Burning Rate
Friction sensitivity of composite propellants and their ingredients is of significant interest to mitigate the risk associated with the accidental initiation while processing, handling, and transportation. In this work, attempts were made to examine the friction sensitivity of passive binder: Hydroxy Terminated Polybutadiene/Aluminium/Ammonium Perchlorate and active binder: (Polymer + Nitrate Esters)/Ammonium Perchlorate/Aluminium/Nitramine based composite propellants by using BAM Friction Apparatus. As per the recommendation of NATO standard STANAG–4487, the friction sensitivity was assessed by two methods: Limiting Frictional load and Frictional load for 50% probability of initiation (F50). The test results showed that the active binder based formulations were more vulnerable to frictional load as compared to the formulations with passive binders. Examination of a comprehensive set of propellant compositions revealed that the particle size distribution of Ammonium Perchlorate and burn rate catalysts were the most influential factors in dictating the friction sensitivity for HTPB/Al/AP composite propellants. For active binder/AP/Al/Nitramine composite propellants, the formulation with RDX was found more friction sensitive with a sensitivity value of 44 N as compared to its HMX analog (61 N). The correlation studies of friction sensitivity, burning rate, and thermal decomposition characteristics of HTPB/Al/AP composite propellants is described.
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