Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.71, No.3 (2010)

Research paper

Application of polytetrahydrofuran as a plasticizer of HTPB binder
Makoto Kohga


Hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) has been generally used as a binder for composite propellant. The liquid plasticizer is added to the propellant in order to improve its processing and mechanical properties. It was reported that polytetrahydrofuran (PTHF) would be an attractive propellant binder. The chemical structure of PTHF is similar to that of HTPB, and therefore, PTHF should mix easily and uniformly with HTPB. And there is oxygen in the repeating unit of PTHF. It was expected that PTHF would be useful not only as the binder ingredient but also as the plasticizer of a HTPB binder. The effects of PTHF as a plasticizer of a HTPB binder were evaluated in this study. With an increasing quantity of PTHF, the blend softened enough to be of use as a binder for a composite propellant when the mole ratio of PTHF to HTPB was below 0.16. The processability, mechanical properties, and thermal decomposition behavior of HTPB binder was improved by a small amount addition of PTHF to HTPB. The molecular weight of PTHF influenced the curing behavior of binders though it did not affect the mechanical properties and thermal decomposition behavior.

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plasticizer, polytetrahydrofuran, hydroxy-terminated polybutadiene, propellant binder.

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