OPTIMIZATION OF POTASSIUM NITRATE BASED SOLID PROPELLANT GRAINS FORMULATION USING RESPONSE SURFACE METHODOLOGY
 
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1
Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria
2
Center for Space Transport and Propulsion, National Space Research and Development Agency, Epe, PMB 1001, Lagos, Nigeria
3
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, P.M.B. 4000, Ogbomoso, Nigeria
Publish date: 2015-08-13
 
Adv. Sci. Technol. Res. J. 2015; 9(27):123–134
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ABSTRACT
This study was designed to evaluate the effect of propellant formulation and geometry on the solid propellant grains internal ballistic performance using core, bates, rod and tubular and end-burn geometries. Response Surface Methodology (RSM) was used to analyze and optimize the effect of sucrose, potassium nitrate and carbon on the chamber pressure, temperature, thrust and specific impulse of the solid propellant grains through Central Composite Design (CCD) of the experiment. An increase in potassium nitrate increased the specific impulse while an increase in sucrose and carbon decreased specific impulse. The coefficient of determination (R2) for models of chamber pressure, temperature, thrust and specific impulse in terms of composition and geometry were 0.9737, 0.9984, 0.9745 and 0.9589, respectively. The optimum specific impulse of 127.89 s, pressure (462201 Pa), temperature (1618.3 K) and thrust (834.83 N) were obtained using 0.584 kg of sucrose, 1.364 kg of potassium nitrate and 0.052 kg of carbon as well as bate geometry. There was no significant difference between the calculated and experimented ballistic properties at p < 0.05. The bate grain geometry is more efficient for minimizing the oscillatory pressure in the combustion chamber.