Mechanical Properties of Smokeless Composite Rocket Propellants Based on Prilled Ammonium Dinitramide

Landsem, Eva
Jensen, Tomas Lunde
Hansen, Finn Knut
Kristensen, Tor Erik Holt
Unneberg, Erik
Date Issued
Landsem, Eva; Jensen, Tomas Lunde; Hansen, Finn Knut; Kristensen, Tor Erik Holt; Unneberg, Erik. Mechanical Properties of Smokeless Composite Rocket Propellants Based on Prilled Ammonium Dinitramide. Propellants, explosives, pyrotechnics 2012 ;Volum 37.(6) s. 691-698
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Ammonium dinitramide (ADN) is a high performance solid oxidizer of interest for use in high impulse and smokeless composite rocket propellant formulations. While rocket propellants based on ADN may be both efficient, clean burning, and environmentally benign, ADN suffers from several notable disadvantages such as pronounced hygroscopicity, significant impact and friction sensitivity, moderate thermal instability, and numerous compatibility issues. Prilled ADN is now a commercially available and convenient product that addresses some of these disadvantages by lowering the specific surface area and thereby improving handling, processing, and stability. In this work, we report the preparation, friction and impact sensitivity and mechanical properties of several smokeless propellant formulations based on prilled ADN and isocyanate cured and plasticized glycidyl azide polymer (GAP) or polycaprolactone-polyether. We found such propellants to have very poor mechanical properties in unmodified form and to display somewhat unreliable curing. However, by incorporation of octogen (HMX) and a neutral polymeric bonding agent (NPBA), the mechanical properties of such smokeless formulations were significantly improved. Impact and friction sensitivities of these propellants compare satisfactorily with conventional propellants based on ammonium perchlorate (AP) and inert binder systems.
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