COMBUSTION BEHAVIOR OF THERMOPLASTIC POLYMER SPHERES.
Technical rept. (Master's thesis),
PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIV UNIVERSITY PARK DEPT OF FUEL SCIENCE
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The investigation was undertaken to study the combustion behavior of 11 thermoplastic polymer spheres burning in air. They were photographed during combustion so that burning rates could be obtained and compared to calculated values determined through the use of appropriate mass and heat transfer equations. The rates were used as a means of determining whether the polymer sphere combustion system could be compared to the more complex combustion system involved in hybrid rockets that employer polymers as fuels. The polymers appeared to burn in two stages. Polymers with a low carbon content burned almost entirely in a volatile stage, characterized by a bright diffusion flame established at some distance from the polymer sphere surface. At volatile burnout, a small amount of residue remained that burned away too rapidly to be measured. The polymers with a high carbon content burned with a quick volatile combustion stage, leaving a carbonaceous residue that burned away slowly with a bright red glow. The volatile burning times, for polymer spheres 0.5 to 1.5 mm in diameter, were between 0.1 and 2.0 seconds while the residue burning times ranged between 1 and 30 seconds.
- Combustion and Ignition
- Solid Rocket Propellants