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aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 11:13
Single component rocket fuels


I've quit explosives for a while now but my love for plastic explosives has rekindled. Instead of making plastic explosives again and getting back into explosives, I want to stick to rocket fuels that I can plasticize.

The problem is that so far the only rocket fuels I could think of were either also high explosives or were a mix of oxidzers and fuels. The former is what I'm avoiding and the latter wouldn't work very well since mixtures typically need intimate contact and homogenous mixing to get good results.

TACP would work but stick a detonator in it and BOOM
Black powder could be intimately mixed and then granulated and ground and plasticized but I don't think it'd work very well. Perhaps I'm wrong. So far I haven't found the candidate for my project. I have a pretty good lab so if I need to do some reactions that's not a big deal.

So the oxidizer would need to be chemically bound to the fuel, the issue is that's exactly what most high explosives are...

So the question is, are there any plasticizeable rocket fuels that can't detonate but will burn well when plasticized?
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paulll
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 11:53


Maybe a flash powder? I suspect it'd be straightforward to mix something up that would burn hot enough to destroy the plasticiser as it goes along once it's initiated, but still slowly enough to be useful.
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 13:27


Black powder has worked for about 1100 years...

Any single component material with the energy density needed to work as rocket fuel will, as you have worked out, also do a fine job as an explosive.
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MadHatter
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 15:15
APCP


Ammonium perchlorate composite propellant.
Enter "apcp wiki" in your search engine.




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macckone
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 16:58


The only solid single propellant that would work reasonably well is nitrocellulose.
But you need to have the exactly correct nitration for a correct burn.
There is a risk of explosion if the nitration is too high and the pressure and temperature get too high.
If it is too low it is a rather inert plastic.

Everything else is going to be a composite.
APCP, black powder, etc are all composites.

The hypergolic liquids are usually binary too.

Now if you want to do a composite, black powder, APCP and rocket candy are your best bets.
There are a number of binders but butyl rubber is usually used with APCP.
With black powder it is pressed into a grain:
https://www.skylighter.com/blogs/how-to-make-fireworks/4-oun...

Rocket candy is it's own binder.
It is usually potassium perchlorate and sugar but can also be potassium nitrate and sugar.
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 17:09


You can look at tools and parts available also. That might give you ideas on what you can / want to do.

Hot gasses is what you are after so flash powders are not ideal. Black powder is easy to form into grains. You might even want to make your own of lesser quality for a slower burn.
Black powder and Arabic gum sent one of my uncles to the hospital on CATO. Another time he tried to cut corners and use an electric cofee grinder to mill powder. He's doing fine and is still a mad scientist in another field.

It's very tempting to use NC as a binder as it generates only gas. Red Gum and shellac are good too.
I never did more than a few tries involving resorcine resin. Adding your oxidizer into that muck is interesting... I never got consistent results and ended up using it as a HARD combustible seal and waterproofing a BKNO3 igniter.
Resins are certainly worth investigating. The industry cant be that wrong :)

I mostly did colored flares and fountains. One thing you have to be careful when loading any wet composition or anything that will cure is that they might shrink.
That is important, as the flame front may propagate along the wall of the container and... bang.

Hey, another thought ! Can Zn + S be cast ? Or will pressing hard enough sinter a grain ?




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aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 20:54


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Black powder has worked for about 1100 years...

Any single component material with the energy density needed to work as rocket fuel will, as you have worked out, also do a fine job as an explosive.


Wait so a mixture would work? I mean the black powder would be intimately mixed, however, wouldn't the plasticizer cause the burn to be very inefficient and slow since the binder and plasticizer mix would cause too much separation between the components? Looks like I've got some experimenting to do... :)

[Edited on 5-10-2020 by aromaticfanatic]
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aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 4-10-2020 at 20:59


Quote: Originally posted by MadHatter  
Ammonium perchlorate composite propellant.
Enter "apcp wiki" in your search engine.

Wait I thought that if I plasticize a mix of chemicals they wouldn't be intimately bound enough to react properly causing a crappy burn and low efficiency?

The goal is to have a moldable plastic rocket fuel almost exactly like plastic explosives, minus the actual high explosives.
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Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 01:21


Quote: Originally posted by aromaticfanatic  
Quote: Originally posted by MadHatter  
Ammonium perchlorate composite propellant.
Enter "apcp wiki" in your search engine.

Wait I thought that if I plasticize a mix of chemicals they wouldn't be intimately bound enough to react properly causing a crappy burn and low efficiency?

The goal is to have a moldable plastic rocket fuel almost exactly like plastic explosives, minus the actual high explosives.


Why? The whole point of solid rocket fuel is that it is tightly packed so there is no need for it to be moldable.
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mysteriusbhoice
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 01:34


Quote: Originally posted by aromaticfanatic  
I've quit explosives for a while now but my love for plastic explosives has rekindled. Instead of making plastic explosives again and getting back into explosives, I want to stick to rocket fuels that I can plasticize.

The problem is that so far the only rocket fuels I could think of were either also high explosives or were a mix of oxidzers and fuels. The former is what I'm avoiding and the latter wouldn't work very well since mixtures typically need intimate contact and homogenous mixing to get good results.

TACP would work but stick a detonator in it and BOOM
Black powder could be intimately mixed and then granulated and ground and plasticized but I don't think it'd work very well. Perhaps I'm wrong. So far I haven't found the candidate for my project. I have a pretty good lab so if I need to do some reactions that's not a big deal.

So the oxidizer would need to be chemically bound to the fuel, the issue is that's exactly what most high explosives are...

So the question is, are there any plasticizeable rocket fuels that can't detonate but will burn well when plasticized?


APCP bro
ammonium perchlorate + 10% binder
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 02:21


Quote: Originally posted by aromaticfanatic  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Black powder has worked for about 1100 years...

Any single component material with the energy density needed to work as rocket fuel will, as you have worked out, also do a fine job as an explosive.


Wait so a mixture would work? I mean the black powder would be intimately mixed, however, wouldn't the plasticizer cause the burn to be very inefficient and slow since the binder and plasticizer mix would cause too much separation between the components? Looks like I've got some experimenting to do... :)

[Edited on 5-10-2020 by aromaticfanatic]

You are saying that you plan to make rockets, but you have not even done enough research to know that they used gunpowder for over a thousand years...
I suggest you do some more reading.
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barbs09
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 04:20


How about castable "R-Candy" (Sugar and KNO3)?

https://www.jacobsrocketry.com/aer/caramel_candy_propellant....
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MadHatter
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 07:04
Binder


In APCP the binder is consumed as
part of the fuel. Reread the wiki
about this.




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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 08:34


Quote: Originally posted by mysteriusbhoice  
Quote: Originally posted by aromaticfanatic  
I've quit explosives for a while now but my love for plastic explosives has rekindled. Instead of making plastic explosives again and getting back into explosives, I want to stick to rocket fuels that I can plasticize.

The problem is that so far the only rocket fuels I could think of were either also high explosives or were a mix of oxidzers and fuels. The former is what I'm avoiding and the latter wouldn't work very well since mixtures typically need intimate contact and homogenous mixing to get good results.

TACP would work but stick a detonator in it and BOOM
Black powder could be intimately mixed and then granulated and ground and plasticized but I don't think it'd work very well. Perhaps I'm wrong. So far I haven't found the candidate for my project. I have a pretty good lab so if I need to do some reactions that's not a big deal.

So the oxidizer would need to be chemically bound to the fuel, the issue is that's exactly what most high explosives are...

So the question is, are there any plasticizeable rocket fuels that can't detonate but will burn well when plasticized?


APCP bro
ammonium perchlorate + 10% binder


Or not...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PEPCON_disaster
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aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 08:46


Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Quote: Originally posted by aromaticfanatic  
Quote: Originally posted by unionised  
Black powder has worked for about 1100 years...

Any single component material with the energy density needed to work as rocket fuel will, as you have worked out, also do a fine job as an explosive.


Wait so a mixture would work? I mean the black powder would be intimately mixed, however, wouldn't the plasticizer cause the burn to be very inefficient and slow since the binder and plasticizer mix would cause too much separation between the components? Looks like I've got some experimenting to do... :)

[Edited on 5-10-2020 by aromaticfanatic]

You are saying that you plan to make rockets, but you have not even done enough research to know that they used gunpowder for over a thousand years...
I suggest you do some more reading.


You're not reading what I'm writing. I am plasticizing black powder into a clay like moldable putty. I know black powder rockets exist they were the first to be made by the chinese.

Try reading what I'm saying and see if the answer changes. Would a putty black powder work? I don't think it would well as a rocket fuel.

I've made castable rocket fuels and such but if people read what I posted they'd know I'm going for a plasticized putty rocket fuel. Maybe I wasn't clear enough.

TACP would work as a great plastic rocker fuel but it's also a high explosive.

I want the plastic because if you guys would read my posts and replies you'd know I'm just messing around with non high explosive plastics..
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aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 08:48


Quote: Originally posted by MadHatter  
In APCP the binder is consumed as
part of the fuel. Reread the wiki
about this.


Gotcha I saw they had some metals as fuels as well IIRC so I was back at the mixture thing which shouldn't work.
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 08:56


Hexaminenickel perchlorate burns fast like black powder fuel and oxidizer all in one



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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 09:25


Rocket candy mentioned in site provided by barbs09 is actually quite powerful and quite easy/safe to make. KNO3 and sugar dissolved in water then water removed - fuel and oxidizer is mixed close if not completely at molecular level, is moldable while warm and solid at rt°. Had a lot of fun with it some time ago. I made finger sized strips from it and they occasionally propelled themselves when lighted and trowed into air, with no nozzles or confinement.



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yobbo II
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 11:34


Potassium chlorate and wax is used by some. Perk. would do too.

I wondered would the following work. A was is put into a ball mill and the ball mill put in a freezer. The was shoud grind to a powder.
Mix with chlorate or perchlorate. They should mix like powders if kept cold. Pack into rocked and warm to about 60C or so to get was to meld and let solidify.

Yob
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[*] posted on 5-10-2020 at 11:44


Quote: Originally posted by yobbo II  
Potassium chlorate and wax is used by some. Perk. would do too.

I wondered would the following work. A was is put into a ball mill and the ball mill put in a freezer. The was shoud grind to a powder.
Mix with chlorate or perchlorate. They should mix like powders if kept cold. Pack into rocked and warm to about 60C or so to get was to meld and let solidify.

Yob


Wax can be cheese grated, then blended to a powder. (At least paraffin and stearic acid can be)




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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 04:11


I seriously doubt it will work, for a couple of reasons.
Your first problem is that most plasticizers are based on oils and waxes, and these have a fairly low boiling point. So they tend to act as burn rate retarders. I know pyro's have used oil to tune burn rates rather than changing the composition, a few percent makes a huge difference. The second problem is that it will most likely suffer from erosive burn as the propellant is subjected to high temperatures and very high gas flow rates.




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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 07:21


Quote: Originally posted by yobbo II  
Potassium chlorate and wax is used by some. Perk. would do too.

I wondered would the following work. A was is put into a ball mill and the ball mill put in a freezer. The was shoud grind to a powder.
Mix with chlorate or perchlorate. They should mix like powders if kept cold. Pack into rocked and warm to about 60C or so to get was to meld and let solidify.

Yob



Interesting approach. The first thing that comes to mind for me is how the oxidizer powders disperse and suspend in the melted wax especially if they're left to solidify. Sedimentation of the powders is possible during processing which would impact the propellant burn rate as a large amount of oxidizer would be at the bottom.

Second, the ball milling process causes agglomeration and you say that "They should mix like powders if kept cold" but if both powders are cohesive it will take ages based on reports. Longer times (up to 2 days) were needed for obtaining a homogenous powder mixture (ceramic powders). Also, as the wax/chlorate or perchlorate powder mixture is being packed, melted etc, what's going to break up and disperse the oxidizer agglomerates? Ineffective processing methods are a factor that influences lower burn rates.

Potentially, the temp you melt the wax could be a little lower to get a higher but processable viscosity that enables a good suspension of chlorate/perchlorate powder but you would still have the issue of agglomerates and dispersion. I don't suppose you have a RAM lying around? That would kill 3 birds with 1 stone. It will melt the wax (as it heats up), create a homogenous blend, and break up agglomerates.


[Edited on 7-10-2020 by NewKidOnDaBlock]
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 07:57


Quote: Originally posted by NewKidOnDaBlock  

Interesting approach. The first thing that comes to mind for me is how the oxidizer powders disperse and suspend in the melted wax especially if they're left to solidify. Sedimentation of the powders is possible during processing which would impact the propellant burn rate as a large amount of oxidizer would be at the bottom.

[Edited on 7-10-2020 by NewKidOnDaBlock]


Sedimentation ? Ok, I'd have said segregation but if you mean the same as I do I think the easy fix is... not to melt the wax.
Applying enough pressure to sinter the composition should be fairly easy and solve this problem at the same time.




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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 08:31


Going to be hard-pressed for a single component propellant - majority are composites. Non-energetic plasticizers will reduce the final performance output due to lower oxygen balance. Aromaticfanatic, if you're just working with non-energetics, the effect on burn rate generally follows the energy content of the binder-plasticizer (least to greatest):

Polyester < polyether < polyurethane < polybutadiene < energetic compound

I think you were referring to binder-plasticizer migration in previous posts? Not sure if this will be useful in your search but, molecular weight (Mn) oligomeric materials of 200 or lower tend to be volatile and migrate very readily. The average Mn to give optimal plasticizing effect between 400 to 1000 but it also depends on the rest of your formulation. If you end up going for a composite propellant, migration can be reduced by picking components with similar structures because this will increase the miscibility and chemical compatibility between them.

I'm currently designing novel binders and it's a pain because of so many different factors.
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 08:37


As a matter of semantics, does cordite count as a single component?
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