Inderscience Publishers

Effect of carbon nanotube on the thermal decomposition characteristics of selected propellant binders and oxidisers

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The effect of carbon nanotube (CNT) on the thermal decomposition behaviour of polymeric binders viz., hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene (HTPB) and glycidyl azide polymer (GAP) as well as oxidisers namely ammonium perchlorate (AP) and phase stabilised ammonium nitrate (PSAN) was investigated using simultaneous TG–DSC. The results indicate that addition of CNT to AP, lowered the thermal decomposition of AP but CNT addition to HTPB, increased the thermal stability of HTPB. The thermal decomposition characteristics of PSAN and GAP were not influenced by CNT. Ignition delay studies were carried out in a tube furnace using HTPB–AP propellant systems. CNT reduced the ignition delay of a propellant based on HTPB with AP oxidiser. The observed phenomena were explained based on the likely reaction of CNT with the compounds formed at high reaction temperatures.

Keywords: thermal decomposition, ignition delay, carbon nanotubes, CNT, AP, hydroxyl terminated polybutadiene, HTPB, glycidyl azide polymer, GAP, phase stabilised ammonium nitrate, PSAN, nanotechnology, propellant binders, oxidisers, polymeric binders

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