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Metallized Gelled Propellants: Oxygen/RP-1/aluminum Rocket Combustion ExperimentsA series of combustion experiments were conducted to measure the specific impulse, Cstar-, and specific-impulse efficiencies of a rocket engine using metallized gelled liquid propellants. These experiments used a small 20- to 40-1bf (89- to 178-N) thrust, modular engine consisting of an injector, igniter, chamber and nozzle. The fuels used were traditional liquid RP-1 and gelled RP-1 with 0-, 5-, and 55-wt% loadings of aluminum and gaseous oxygen was the oxidizer. Ten different injectors were used during the testing: 6 for the baseline 02/RP-1 tests and 4 for the gelled fuel tests which covered a wide range of mixture ratios. At the peak of the Isp versus oxidizer-to-fuel ratio (O/F) data, a range of 93 to 99% Cstar efficiency was reached with ungelled 02/RP-1. A Cstar efficiency range of 75 to 99% was obtained with gelled RP-l (0-wt% RP-1/Al) while the metallized 5-wt% RP-1/Al delivered a Cstar efficiency of 94 to 99% at the peak Isp in the O/F range tested. An 88 to 99% Cstar efficiency was obtained at the peak Isp of the gelled RP1/Al with 55-wt% Al. Specific impulse efficiencies for the 55-wt% RP-1/Al of 67%-83% were obtained at a 2.4:1 expansion ratio. Injector erosion was evident with the 55-wt% testing, while there was little or no erosion seen with the gelled RP-1 with 0- and 5-wt% Al. A protective layer of gelled fuel formed in the firings that minimized the damage to the rocket injector face. This effect may provide a useful technique for engine cooling. These experiments represent a first step in characterizing the performance of and operational issues with gelled RP-1 fuels.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Legacy CDMS
Document Type
Conference Paper
Palaszewski, Bryan
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH, United States)
Zakany, James S.
(NYMA, Inc. Brook Park, OH., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
August 1, 1995
Subject Category
Propellants And Fuels
Report/Patent Number
AIAA PAPER 95-2435
NAS 1.15:107025
Meeting Information
Meeting: Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit
Location: San Diego, CA
Country: United States
Start Date: July 10, 1995
End Date: July 12, 1995
Accession Number
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 232-01-00
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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