Temperature-Insensitive Composite Propellants with Tunable Plateau Burning Using In-Situ Energetic Nanoparticles

Period of Performance: 11/13/2013 - 05/15/2014


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Helicon Chemical Company LLC
1201 Avalon Lake Dr., #304
Orlando, FL 32828
Principal Investigator


The objective of this Phase I proposal is to demonstrate the feasibility of using a combination of chemical and nanoparticle additives to produce high-performance, temperature-insensitive composite solid propellants with plateau burning rates greater than 1 in/s at 2000 psi for use in Navy aircraft ejection seat systems. The key innovation in this work is the combinations of novel additives and processing methods which provide enhanced controllability of composite propellant burning rates. Specifically, a chemical additive is used to produce plateau and negative pressure dependence, and a unique in-situ chemical process forms aluminum nanoparticles directly in the propellant binder, which increases performance. Feasibility will be determined by burning rate, temperature dependence, safety, and mechanical property tests showing that this propellant meets Navy's requirements as an alternative to current double-base propellants in this application.