University: University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign
Mentor in UCF: Dr. Eric Peterson - Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering
Performance Assessment of Solid Rocket Propellants Containing
Titania-based Nanoparticles Both the space program and the military place high importance on the performance of solid propellants whether it is for space travel or defense purposes. Recent studies have shown that micro-powders used as fuel additives have an impact on the baseline burn rate curve for a typical solid propellant. The purpose of this study was to test the effects of nano-particle additives on solid propellants, specifically those containing titanium. Two specific solutions of nano-particle additives were synthesized, consisting of TiO[H2O2]2+ and TiO2. These solutions were then mixed at a .02 and 2.0 % solid propellant fuel mass ratio, cured, and burned in a strand bomb at various pressure ranges. Results showed that the Ti complex additive had no significant impact on the baseline burn rate vs. pressure plot, while the TiO2 nano-particles had a definite increase compared to the burn rate vs. pressure plot. These findings reveal that nano-particle additives have an important impact on the performance of solid propellants, due to their high surface to volume ratio. Important research to be accomplished in the future includes repetition of the nano-particle additive burns with larger pressure ranges and experimentation on the percentage of additive used in the fuel.