Formulation and Comparative Study of Rheological Properties of Loaded and Unloaded Ethanol-Based Gel Propellants

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The current trend in the area of highly energetic storable liquid rocket propellant research is to develop environmentally friendly gelled/metallized systems and to explore the feasibility of their application in rocket engines. The idea stems from the fact that the conversion of a conventional liquid propellant to a gelled state and its subsequent metallization has the potential to significantly enhance the performance and density-specific impulse. The gelation of liquid fuels could be induced at a critical gellant concentration of as low as 8wt% for the pure ethanol case and as low as 4 and 6wt% for metallized ethanol depending on the metal type. Furthermore, the gel formed should be thixotropic. Metallized gels using 20wt% Al and B metal powders could also be formulated. These metallized (Al and B) ethanol gel systems showed a reduction in the critical gellant concentration depending on the degree of metallization. The rheological properties of metallized and nonmetallized ethanol gels using methyl cellulose (MC) as a gelling agent at different ambient temperatures (283.15, 293.15, 303.15, 313.15, and 323.15K) were experimentally investigated in this study. The gel fuels were rheologically characterized using a rheometer at shear rates ranging from 1 to 12s(-1) and 1 to 1,000s(-1). Metallized and nonmetallized ethanol gels were found to be thixotropic in nature. The apparent viscosity and yield stress (for shear rate range 1 to 12s(-1)) of gels were observed to significantly decrease at higher ambient temperatures and as the gellant and metal particle concentrations decreased. The thixotropic behavior was found to be a strong function of the Al and B metal particle concentration for all test temperatures at shear rate ranges from 1 to 12s(-1) and 1 to 1,000s(-1). It was also a function of the MC concentration at a shear rate range of 1 to 1,000s(-1).
Publisher
TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC
Issue Date
2015-04
Language
English
Article Type
Article
Citation

JOURNAL OF ENERGETIC MATERIALS, v.33, no.2, pp.125 - 139

ISSN
0737-0652
DOI
10.1080/07370652.2014.939311
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10203/191072
Appears in Collection
AE-Journal Papers(저널논문)
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