Natural Rubber Based Fuel Rich Propellant for Ramjet Rocket

  • Solomon Thomas Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
  • T. L. Varghese Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
  • S. K. Gupta Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
  • T. S. Ram Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
  • V. N. Krishnamurthy Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Keywords: Propellants, Air breathing propulsion, Tertiary amine catalyst, Propylene oxide

Abstract

Development of fuel rich propellants for air-breathing propulsion is one of the frontier areas of research. This carries less oxidiser than the normal propellants, uses ram air for complete combustion and is heavily metallised. Studies were conducted at VSSC for the development of hydroxyl-terminated natural rubber (HTNR)-based Mg and Mg-Al alloy-filled polyurethane systems. The HTNR prepolymer was modified to make it free of acid functionality so as to avoid reaction with the metals and was then reacted with calculated amount of propylene oxide in the presence of tertiary amine catalyst at room temperature. Various levels of Mg and Mg-Al alloy were used in different compositions and the effect on propellant characteristics was studied. TMP and butane diol were used for higher crosslinking, chain extension, etc and their effects were evaluated. Propellant compositions using 30-35 per cent by weight of Mg/Mg-Al alloy with the modified prepolymer have been developed. They exhibit good processibility and mechanical properties. The feasibility of room temperature curing was attempted. Motors weighing 2 kg with 100 mm OD and 200 mm length were successfully static-tested in the primary mode for performance evaluation.

Author Biographies

Solomon Thomas, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Mr Solomon Thomas obtained his MSc in Orga nic Chemistry from the University o f Poona. He has been engaged in R&D work on composite propellant s and poly me rs for the last 23 years at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram . He is a member of High Energy Materials Society of India a nd Kerala Academy of Sciences.
T. L. Varghese, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Mr TL Varghese, curre ntly work ing in VSSc. Thir uvanan thapuram , obtaine d his MSc in Chemistry from Kerala University in 1969. He has been engaged in R&D work on composite propellan ts for the last 21 years . He is a member of the High Energy Materials Society of India
S. K. Gupta, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
T. S. Ram, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
V. N. Krishnamurthy, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, Thiruvananthapuram
Dr.VN Krishnamurthy is a Deputy Direc tor at VSSC, Thiruvananthapuram. He obtained his PhD ftom lISe , Bangal or e. He is the Vice President of the High Energy Material s Society of India and member, Society for Advancement of Elcct rochemicals; Thermal Analysis Society;
and Indian Astronautical Society.
Published
2013-01-01
How to Cite
ThomasS., VargheseT., GuptaS., RamT., & KrishnamurthyV. (2013). Natural Rubber Based Fuel Rich Propellant for Ramjet Rocket. Defence Science Journal, 42(3), 141-146. https://doi.org/10.14429/dsj.42.4373
Section
Special Issue Papers

Most read articles by the same author(s)