Solid Rocket Fuel

  • Thread starter Mr. dude
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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.
 

Pengwuino

Gold Member
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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.
 

Clausius2

Science Advisor
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Mr. dude said:
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.
For Space Shuttle SRB's:
a Nasa site I don't remember said:
"The propellant mixture in each SRB motor consists of an ammonium perchlorate (oxidizer, 69.6 percent by weight), aluminum (fuel, 16 percent), iron oxide (a catalyst, 0.4 percent), a polymer (a binder that holds the mixture together, 12.04 percent), and an epoxy curing agent (1.96 percent). The propellant is an 11-point star- shaped perforation in the forward motor segment and a double- truncated- cone perforation in each of the aft segments and aft closure. This configuration provides high thrust at ignition and then reduces the thrust by approximately a third 50 seconds after lift-off to prevent overstressing the vehicle during maximum dynamic pressure."
 
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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:
 

Pengwuino

Gold Member
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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.
 
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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).
 

LURCH

Science Advisor
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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.
 
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.

LURCH said:
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.
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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