Visualization and Measurement of the Burning Surface of Wire-Embedded Energetic Materials, Part I: JA2 and Pentolite

Report No. ARL-TR-6959
Authors: John J. Ritter; Zachary Wingard; Tony Canami; Andrew McBain
Date/Pages: June 2014; 34 pages
Abstract: To increase the burning rates of minimum-smoke propellant formulations that are less sensitive than current standards, the Army is investigating gains that are achievable by embedding propellant with thermally conductive wires. The mechanisms that lead to increased burning rates in wired propellant are not fully understood; therefore, grain design optimization is a significant technical challenge. As part of an effort to gain insight into the mechanisms underlying the phenomenon, and thereby accelerate development of the technology, an experimental technique was developed that enables the burning surface of a wire-embedded strand to be visualized throughout the course of a burn rate measurement. Revealing details of the process that are hidden to standard burn rate measurement techniques, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory is developing a state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics model for simulating the performance of rocket motors with wire-embedded propellant grains.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: June 1, 2014