Determination of Activation Energy of Relaxation Events in Composite Solid Propellants by Dynamic Mechanical Analysis
The shelf life of a composite solid propellant is one of the critical aspects for the usage of solid propellants. To assess the ageing behavior of the composite solid propellant, the activation energy is a key parameter. The activation energy is determined by analysis of visco-elastic response of the composite solid propellant when subjected to sinusoidal excitation. In the present study, dynamic mechanical analyzer was used to characterize six different types of propellants based on hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene, aluminium, ammonium perchlorate cured with toluene diisocyanate having burning rates varying from 5 mm/s to 25 mm/s at 7000 kPa. Each propellant sample was given a multi-frequency strain of 0.01 percent at three discrete frequencies (3.5 Hz, 11 Hz, 35 Hz) in the temperature range -80 °C to + 80 °C. It was observed that all the propellants have shown two relaxation events (α- and β- transition) in the temperature range -80 °C to +80 °C. The α-transition was observed between -66 °C and -51 °C and β-transition between 7 °C and 44 °C for the propellants studied. The activation energy for both transitions was determined by Arrhenius plot from dynamic properties measured at different frequencies and also by time temperature superposition principle using Williams-Landel-Ferry and Arrhenius temperature dependence equations. The data reveal that the activation energy corresponding to α-transition varies from 90 kJ/mol to 125 kJ/mol for R-value between 0.7 to 0.9 while for β-transition the values are from 75 kJ/mol to 92 kJ/mol. The activation energy corresponding to β-transition may be used to predict the useful life of solid propellant.
Defence Science Journal, 2014, 64(2), pp. 173-178. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14429/dsj.64.3818
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