Performance Evaluation and Experimental Studies on Metallised Gel Propellants
AbstractMetallised gel propellants offer higher specific impulse and volumetric loading, reduced vaporisation loss, spillage and slosh problems and easy storage in comparison to the conventional liquid propellants. Theoretical performance analysis of gel propellant containing Al in unsymmetrical dimethyl hydrazine-dinitrogen tetroxide (UDMH-N/sub 2/O/sub 4} system shows peak Isp (vacuum condition) of 316.7 s and 318.3 s at oxidiser/fuel (O/f) ratios of 1.5 and 1.0, respectively for 30 per cent and 40 per cent UDMH-Al gel propellants, under standard conditions. The effect of other parameters like area ratio and chamber pressure on performance has been brought out in view of mission oriented applications. Aluminium has been found to be a better choice over magnesium in metallised gel propellants. Experimental studies on UDMH gellation using propellant grade (15 micrometer)and pyrotechnic grade (1.5 micrometer)Al in 500g batch level show that gellant(methyl cellulose) concentration could be reduced by 50 percent using pyrotechnic grade Al. The pseudoplastic-thixotropic behaviour, flow rate through die holes, burst pressure tests and bulk density are studied. UDMH -25 to 30 per cent Al gels with both grades of Al are found to be stable, pseudoplastic (shear thinning) and thixotropic (time-dependent shear thinning), but their flow pattern through die holes differ in nature.
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