Upgrades to the Closed Bomb Facility and Measurement of Propellant Burning Rate

Report No. ARL-TR-5058
Authors: Tyler Wagner, John Ritter, and Barrie E. Homan
Date/Pages: January 2010; 38 pages
Abstract: Propellants are a class of materials designed to produce low molecular weight gases that can be used in guns, missiles, and pyrotechnics. The burn rate of a propellant is used to design such munitions systems. The preferred method for obtaining the burn rate is the constant volume closed bomb. The pressure-time history obtained in closed bomb experiments, coupled with a propellant's thermochemistry and geometry, is used to calculate the linear burn rate. The hardware and software previously used to record the data needed to calculate the linear burn rate were outdated. The software that controlled the closed bomb experiments required modification in order to integrate the command set of the new Agilent oscilloscope. The new program sends user-defined commands, reads data from an external voltage source, and arranges that data in the proper format for XLCB, the burn rate data reduction code written in house using Visual BASIC in Microsoft Excel. The new code improves efficiency by creating buffers, eliminating extraneous subroutines. The new software has been tested for accuracy against the previous program using a split signal and closed bomb tests. This report presents a brief overview of closed bomb testing, a detailed account of the program and programming process, and results confirming the accuracy of the new program.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: January 1, 2010