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  • 4:56 AM, Wednesday, 20 Jan 2021

Course Postgraduate
Semester Electives
Subject Code CHM864
Subject Title Chemical Rocket Propellants


Classification of chemical propellants; Liquid propellants- mono propellants and bi propellants, Oxidizers and fuels; Liquid engines and solid motors, Selection criteria for oxidizers and fuels, Solid Propellants- Ingredients of composite propellants, Oxidizers and cross-linked binders, Green propellants, Advanced and futuristic Propellants; Propellant processing, Ballistic properties, Characterization of solid propellant, Solid motor subsystems; Space ordnance systems- introduction to explosives 


Detailed version

Fundamentals of rocket propulsion: Working of propellants- characteristics velocity and specific impulse, Selection criteria for oxidizers and fuels, Bond energy and thermo chemistry, Classification of chemical propellants

Liquid propellants: Liquid engines- liquid propellants feed systems, liquid engine cycles, mono propellants, bi propellants- earth storable-cryo and semi cryo systems, Oxidizers- LOX and oxides of nitrogen, Fuels: LH2, Hydrocarbons - Isrosene and hydrazines, Ecofriendly propellants, futuristic propellants, Advanced  oxidizers and fuels, Gelled propellants

Solid propellants: Homogeneous and composite solid propellants, Ingredients of composite propellants- oxidizers, selection criteria- nitrates, perchlorates and advanced oxidizers, ADN and HNF- manufacturing of ammonium perchlorate, High energy additives, Cross-linked binders- polyurethanes, carboxyl and hydroxyl terminated polybutadieneprepolymers, Manufacturing of HTPB, Functionality distribution of HTPB, High energy binders; azido and oxitane polymers, Curatives, Plasticizers and bonding agents, Propellant processing- pot life and cure time, Solid motors and grain configuration, Burning rate and burning rate law, Ballistic modifiers, Characterisation of solid propellant, Mechanical properties and structural integrity; Solid motor subsystems- Insulation, Inhibition and liner systems, Motor case and nozzle hardware

Space ordnance systems: Introduction to explosives- deflagration and detonation, Classification of explosives, Common explosive compounds- nitrate esters, nitro compounds and nitramines, Igniters, Safety of propellants and explosives

Text Books

1.        G. P. Sutton, O. Biblarz, Rocket Propulsion Elements, 7th ed., John Wiley & Sons, 2001.

2.         S. F. Sarner, Propellant Chemistry, Reinhold Publishing Co., 1966.

3.        C. Boyars, K. Klager, Propellants Manufacture, Hazards and Testing, in Advances in Chemistry Series 88, American Chemical Society: Washington DC, 1969.

4.        H. Singh, H. Shekhar, Science and Technology of Solid Rocket Propellants, Printwell, Darbhanga, 2005.

5.        K. Ramamurthi, Rocket Propulsion, Macmillan Publishers, 2010.

6.        Kirk- Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology, Vol. 10, Explosives and Propellants


1.        Y. Vigor, T.B. Brill, R. We-Zhen, Solid Propellant Chemistry, Combustion and Motor Interior Ballistic, Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautic, Vol. 185, AIAA, 2000.

2.        L. Nielsen, R.F. Landel, Mechanical Properties of Polymers and Composites, 2nd ed., Marcel Dekker Inc., New York, 1994.

3.        T. Urbanski, Chemistry and Technology of Explosives, Vol. I to IV, Pergamon Press.