> don't make propellants .. besides it's
> tedious and you'll rarely launch anything.
It's not possible,
2) It is black, and absorbs more energy on the propellant surface
from the flame than the rest of the stuff does
3) It makes the melted propellant less flowing, and causes more
voids during casting, making the resultant propellant more
likely to cause explosions on the launch pad.
The sulfur lowers the ignition temperature of the propellant,
making it a lot more likely that it will ignite in your face. I
appreciate your intention to be safe, but I respectfully suggest
that what you are doing may be more dangerous than you
Not to say that rocket propellants cannot be made safely. It is
hard to learn to make them safely by yourself, though. It is even
harder to do so legally.
Luck and Regards,
> I have a simple propellant question. I have not seen references to
> this particular mixture, so I'm curious both for the chemistry and
> A melted mixture ( kids, don't try this at home !! ) of potassium
> nitrate, sugar, and sulfur - burns reasonably well, but not well
> enough. Granted there is a difference, in a given reaction, between
> the carbon released from sugar and the carbon available in powdered
> charcoal, I have noticed that the same sugar / KNO3 / sulfer mixture
> burns much faster when modified to include 1% powdered charcoal.
> Is the charcoal acting as a catalyst? - and if so how.
> Could the addition of charcoal lower the effective auto-ignition
> temperature of the mix ?
> Could it be any more dangerous to make ?
> Interesting feedback would be appreciated.
> Cursory cautionary note; Propellant making is interesting, but cannot
> be done safely without taking every precaution. It's not possible,
> really, to take every precaution, so don't make propellants .. besides
> it's tedious and you'll rarely launch anything.
To the rocket motor maker, of course it's fun (and still tedious at
to make rocket motors, I think that people who post on this topic
ought to be careful with recipies and so forth, as we have a
responsibility to protect children and the not-so-clever from injuring
themselves. A few words of caution belongs with anything that could
I would think though, that perhaps Americans should be doubly
advised to not make rockets, as both the culture and election results
clearly show certain hard limits on mental faculties.
The powdered charcoal appears to be a good means to modulate the
burn rate of sugar fuels, and I will be experimenting with it further
near the 1% level. I could see from my few tests that charcoal could
turn your core-burning sugar recipe into a mix that burns fast enough
to split the motor casing. The other danger could be the potential
burn rate of the heated mixture while melting. I would imagine
scorching hot molten mix would not make a good face mask, especially
if it was burning as well.
> I would think though, that perhaps Americans should be doubly
>advised to not make rockets, as both the culture and election results
>clearly show certain hard limits on mental faculties.