Temperature Sensitivity of Composite Propellant Containing Novel Nano-Additive Catalysts Conference Paper uri icon


  • 2014 by The Authors. Nano-catalysts are a proven method for increasing the burning rate of propellants, and various synthesis methods will alter the performance of the catalyst. One of the newest synthesis methods for producing nano titania is the in-situ method developed by the authors. This new method of synthesis increases the burning rate of AP/HTPB propellants more than using any dry powder titania. The focus of this paper was to analyze the safety and temperature sensitivity of a new in-situ titania catalyst developed in the authors laboratory. Since titania is being added to the propellant, the thermal conductivity of the propellant will increase in value over a baseline formulation containing only AP and HTPB. Baseline formulations were compared to the titania propellants in both 80% monomodal AP and 85% bimiodal AP mixtures. To test the temperature sensitivity, the propellants were cooled to 245 K and heated to 360 K for testing. The results showed that the addition of titania on average increased the temperature sensitivity of the propellant. Safety tests were then conducted on each of the propellant samples, and the significant results showed that the titania lowered the safety from the cook-off test, but by only a very small amount. Through the use of high-speed photography, the combustion surfaces for the baseline and the propellant with the nano-catalyst were observed to be similar. This result qualitatively shows that the catalyst is only increasing the burning rate and not altering the burning surface. This paper provides the details on the procedure followed for testing the propellant temperature sensitivity, their safety, and the analysis and interpretation of the results.

name of conference

  • 50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference

published proceedings

  • 50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference

author list (cited authors)

  • Demko, A. R., Thomas, J. C., Sammet, T., Petersen, E. L., Reid, D., & Seal, S.

citation count

  • 4

complete list of authors

  • Demko, Andrew R||Thomas, James C||Sammet, Thomas||Petersen, Eric L||Reid, David||Seal, Sudipta

publication date

  • January 2014