Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.61, No.4 (2000)

Research paper

Effect of catalysts on the reactivity of ammonium perchlorate-sodium nitrate-
aluminum-GAP composite solid propellant
Hidetsugu Nakamura, Kenzi Yoshihira, Miyako Akiyoshi, 
and Yasutake Hara


The thermal reaction and the combustion of an ammonium perchlorate(AP)-sodium nitrate(SN)-aluminum(Al)-GAP-catalyst solid propellant were studied by a thermal analysis, combustion experiments and analyses of the reaction residue in order to clarify the catalytic effect of iron oxide, copper oxide and cobalt oxide catalysts. The results obtained are as follows.
  Iron oxide, which has a catalytic effect on ammonium perchlorate and a AP-Al-GAP solid propellant decomposition, had no effect on the thermal reaction of the mixture of ammonium perchlorate with sodium nitrate and the AP-SN-Al-GAP solid propellant. Cobalt oxide and copper oxide had a catalytic effect on the low temperature decomposition of ammonium perchlorate in the mixture of ammonium perchlorate and sodium nitrate at atmospheric pressure, but had no effect on the thermal reaction of the AP-SN-Al-GAP solid propellant under pressurized conditions.
  With regard to the combustion, iron oxide had no catalytic effect on the AP-SN-AI-GAP composite solid propellant. The formation of sodium perchlorate, which is more stable compared to ammonium perchlorate, is one of the reason for this phenomenon. The addition of a copper oxide catalyst increased the burning rate by 5-15 % compared to that without a catalyst, but cobalt oxide showed no catalytic effect on a sodium nitate containing propellant combustion under pressurized conditions.

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