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Solid Rocket Fuel

  1. Aug 24, 2005 #1
    I was wondering what it is made of exactly and if there are different ways of making it. Also what the process of making it is. Ha! No I'm not trying to take over the world. Just wondering. Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 24, 2005 #2


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    There are many different types of solid fuels and Im sure theres more then one way to make em. I know some types made by model rocket enthusiasts look like a cooking experiment where they just throw things in a big pot and start mixing and smashing it up.
  4. Aug 24, 2005 #3


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    For Space Shuttle SRB's:
  5. Aug 24, 2005 #4
    Here are two I like, I think it's the second that's similar to NASA's solid rocket boosters :biggrin: :biggrin: :biggrin:

    Propellant 1:
    -68% Ammonium Nitrate
    -18% Magnesium (Pure Crystalline)
    -14% R45M/R20LM Binder or equivalent
    -Curing agent

    Propellant 2: (Similar to NASA's)
    -x% Ammonium Perchlorate
    -x% Aluminum
    -x% Zinc (I) Oxide
    -x% R45M/R20LM Binder
    -Curing agent

    The percents of the first are what I am planning to use in a rocket I plan on building.

    gotta go dinner time :approve:
  6. Aug 24, 2005 #5


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    Be careful. Many people have recieved generous portions of boom when mixing rocket fuel (if you mix it yourself). Find instructions on exactly how to do it and do it exactly the way the instructions tell you.
  7. Aug 24, 2005 #6
    Yea, I have a book from these guys that has EVERYTHING any model rocket enthusiast would need to know. Talks all about the safety precaustions, not only that but I plan on doing it with some friends and supervision of my chem and/or physics teacher(s).

    If I ever find the time to get it done, I'll post a topic with some pics and maybe a movie...but don't expect it because I'm gonna be really busy with school (final high school year).
  8. Aug 24, 2005 #7


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    I remember the pilot of Scaled Composit's X-Prize winner, "Spaceship One" quipping that he was going into space riding on "tire rubber and laughing gas". Their choice for solid fuel was a mixture of the main polymer used in automotive tires and nitrus oxide.
  9. Aug 25, 2005 #8
    I dabbled a little in solid-fuel rocketry. I managed to make a compressed form of potassium-nitrate from TreeStump Remover(™) and confectioners sugar, but I opted for a simplistic uncompressed mixture of both chemicals in the end.

    The flexibility of nitrous oxide as an oxidizer is stunning. Not only is it self-pressurizing, but it can be used on a variety of fuels, such as asphalt and polyvinyl-chloride.

    Indeed, hybrid-rockets are amazing in themselves. Solid-fuel rockets, though simple, risk explosion from mere sparks. Liquid-fuel rockets are completely controllable, but expensive and complex. Hybrid-rockets tend to take the best traits of both worlds, namely the simplicity of solid-fuel rockets, and the ability to control the thrust.
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