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Author: Subject: Can you plasticize black powder
aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 6-10-2020 at 16:57
Can you plasticize black powder


I was trying to make plasticized rocket fuels (no casting or R-Candy) and one guy said black powder. I have high skepticism as I am almost certain that explosive mixtures do not perform well due to the loss of intimate contact between the mixtures.

So who is wrong? Is the guy right claiming black powder works (perform well enough to create lots of thrust, it will obviously suffer performance but will it retain enough with, say 10-15% inerts?) right or am I right? I'd test it but I have no time :/
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Deathunter88
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 06:06


Black powder is rammed, not plasticised, to make motors. This can be done with just black powder or with a binder, usually dextrin or red gum.
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 08:18


Forget this plasticizing idea.

All the solutions you were offered until now involving black powder use a binder that will HARDEN.

Dextrine, Arabic Gum, Red Gum, Shellac, resins. They all harden. You wont get a putty. Especially a putty that burns correctly.
At that point, you're better off designing a composition yourself if you want something that is plastic and can be used as a propellant.
Something along the lines of a chlorate and vaseline (basically a Cheddite explosive).




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TheMrbunGee
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 09:09


I would not attempt it, but firework factories heat BP up, until sulfur melts, extruding "plastic" mass through tiny holes and make BP granules this way.



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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 10:10


@TheMrbunGee: Really? Do you have any sources for this?



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aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 10:40


Okay cool thanks for letting me know. I know when I granulated my BP I had a wet putty but it obviously dries into the hard granules. Some guy either read my post entirely wrong (kinda funny since he basically told me I'm an idiot) or doesn't know what the hell he is doing.
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ShotBored
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 11:09


Quote: Originally posted by TheMrbunGee  
I would not attempt it, but firework factories heat BP up, until sulfur melts, extruding "plastic" mass through tiny holes and make BP granules this way.


I was under the impression that most mass-produced BP was made using a "slugging" process, where BP is pressed into pucks under hydraulic pressures, then essentially crushed/granulated after. I'm certain this is how GOEX makes their BP.
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[*] posted on 7-10-2020 at 13:56


Quote: Originally posted by Fulmen  
@TheMrbunGee: Really? Do you have any sources for this?


I could not find any with quick search, this was told me by my boss, when I worked at pyrotechnics company. He told that is what they do in China. One gets glossy granules by this method, with no dusting. Looks like black bits of plastic.

As I did not find any data for this, I think it is possible, that it was not true. Although seems doable. Dangerous, but doable. I will search some more, when I have time!




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Antiswat
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[*] posted on 8-10-2020 at 07:33


i remember long ago there was a technique barely ever used called "corning"
i have since then been unable to find it again, the process was simply to press BP at maybe 100 tonnes, you would get a small super dense cylinder of black powder, upon hammering this into dust it would have increased in burn speed tremendously, the idea is that all the pores of the charcoal would have been forcefully stuffed with sulfur and nitrate, you could try to use that maybe? otherwise as for plasticizing, you could have a go swapping some of the fuel out with various fuel gels, ive found it that melting hot glue with whatever glue gives you some thick gel, i used this for making magnesium fountains, works well




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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 8-10-2020 at 10:59


"Barely ever used"? Except for every commercial manufacturer and quite a few amateurs, sure...

The powder is usually pressed at roughly 10-15MPa (100-150kg/cm^2) while slightly damp, then dried before crushing and grading. That's how BP has been made for centuries.




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macckone
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[*] posted on 8-10-2020 at 17:28


Technically black powder is 'plastic' but requires a large pressure to squeeze the grain and make the sulfur behave in a plastic manner.
If it contains something other than charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate, it is no longer black powder but something else.
Having said that, the usual way of making black powder plastic is mixing it with nitrocellulose.
Then you use an appropriate solvent to make the mix plastic.
These are semi-smokeless powders and have been around for a long time.

APCP is the usual 'plastic' propellant for rockets.
It was literally used in the space shuttle boosters and is still used today in missiles and rockets.
Ammonium Perchlorate can be made with table salt (non-iodized please), electricity and an appropriate ammonia salt.
It is a bit more complex than that but those are the basic ingredients.
You add in a butyl rubber (widely available) and you have a rubber rocket fuel.
The advantages are:
It is water proof.
It is resistant to cracking.
It has a high impulse.
It is easy to mold into any shape you can design a mold for.
The disadvantage:
If there is Chlorate present when converting to the Ammonium salt, it has a tendency to go boom when drying.
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aromaticfanatic
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[*] posted on 9-10-2020 at 11:49


Quote: Originally posted by macckone  
Technically black powder is 'plastic' but requires a large pressure to squeeze the grain and make the sulfur behave in a plastic manner.
If it contains something other than charcoal, sulfur and potassium nitrate, it is no longer black powder but something else.
Having said that, the usual way of making black powder plastic is mixing it with nitrocellulose.
Then you use an appropriate solvent to make the mix plastic.
These are semi-smokeless powders and have been around for a long time.

APCP is the usual 'plastic' propellant for rockets.
It was literally used in the space shuttle boosters and is still used today in missiles and rockets.
Ammonium Perchlorate can be made with table salt (non-iodized please), electricity and an appropriate ammonia salt.
It is a bit more complex than that but those are the basic ingredients.
You add in a butyl rubber (widely available) and you have a rubber rocket fuel.
The advantages are:
It is water proof.
It is resistant to cracking.
It has a high impulse.
It is easy to mold into any shape you can design a mold for.
The disadvantage:
If there is Chlorate present when converting to the Ammonium salt, it has a tendency to go boom when drying.


Thanks for the informative reply! I've been told to go the APCP route a few times but was never warned about the chlorate thing. Very good to know, thank you.
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[*] posted on 2-11-2020 at 02:52


The black powder has a theoretical density of about 2.15 g / cc. At a density below 1.75 g / cc, deflagration develops rapidly until the explosion.
At a density higher than 1.75 g / cc, ie strongly pressed, BP burns in regular layers in constant speed. For rocket engines, a density of 1.8 - 1.9 g / cc is recommended.




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