Shelf life of Estes motors

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Dakot » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 10:20:35



I was really into model rocketry about 10 years ago and recently noticed
that the only thing left to do on a partially built Maxi-Force I have is the
launch lugs and a paint job.  So...

Opened up my old "launch box" and it seems I have about 40 Estes motors of
all kinds.  These were new in 1991 or 1992 and have been kept in a "cool,
dry place" all these years.  A "brand new" pack of Duracell AA's is marked
"Use before Jan 93".

What ae the odds that these motors are still any good?  If they're no good,
what is a good way to dispose of them?  And, what of the 10-12 packs of
igniters (still sealed in their plastic bags)?

Thx!

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Balsa Bo » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 10:31:36


Quote:

> Opened up my old "launch box" and it seems I have about 40 Estes motors of
> all kinds.  These were new in 1991 or 1992 and have been kept in a "cool,
> dry place" all these years.  A "brand new" pack of Duracell AA's is marked
> "Use before Jan 93".

> What ae the odds that these motors are still any good?  If they're no good,
> what is a good way to dispose of them?  And, what of the 10-12 packs of
> igniters (still sealed in their plastic bags)?

They should be just fine.  I've fired 12+ year old Estes motors personally, and
many have fired motors twice as old, or even more.  Consider it a gift from your
past self!

If you don't want to use them, and would rather dispose of them instead, just
ask any member of your local rocketry club if they want to buy them, or know
someone who would.  Don't destroy them, no need (and a total waste).

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Jerry Irvin » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 10:37:10



Quote:

> I was really into model rocketry about 10 years ago and recently noticed
> that the only thing left to do on a partially built Maxi-Force I have is the
> launch lugs and a paint job.  So...

> Opened up my old "launch box" and it seems I have about 40 Estes motors of
> all kinds.  These were new in 1991 or 1992 and have been kept in a "cool,
> dry place" all these years.  A "brand new" pack of Duracell AA's is marked
> "Use before Jan 93".

> What ae the odds that these motors are still any good?  If they're no good,
> what is a good way to dispose of them?  And, what of the 10-12 packs of
> igniters (still sealed in their plastic bags)?

> Thx!

The motors will last 50 times as long as the batteries :)

--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA

Please bring common sense back to rocketry administration.
Produce then publish.

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Bob Kapl » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 09:42:06


Quote:

> I was really into model rocketry about 10 years ago and recently noticed
> that the only thing left to do on a partially built Maxi-Force I have is the
> launch lugs and a paint job.  So...

> Opened up my old "launch box" and it seems I have about 40 Estes motors of
> all kinds.  These were new in 1991 or 1992 and have been kept in a "cool,
> dry place" all these years.  A "brand new" pack of Duracell AA's is marked
> "Use before Jan 93".

> What ae the odds that these motors are still any good?  If they're no good,
> what is a good way to dispose of them?  And, what of the 10-12 packs of
> igniters (still sealed in their plastic bags)?

As long as they haven't been subjected to high temperature or humidity, they
should be fine. I've flown Estes motors over 30 years old that work as good
as they did in 1970.

        Bob Kaplow      NAR # 18L       TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"
                >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle:      http://www.pleimling.org/le/Phantom4000.pdf
    www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/    www.nira-rocketry.org    www.nar.org

        26-October, 2001: A day that will live in infamy
        Support Freedom: http://www.indefenseoffreedom.org/

        You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
        reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about
        repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the
        struggle for independence. -- Charles A. Beard

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Dakot » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 10:54:36



Quote:

> > Opened up my old "launch box" and it seems I have about 40 Estes motors
of
> > all kinds.  These were new in 1991 or 1992 and have been kept in a
"cool,
> > dry place" all these years.  A "brand new" pack of Duracell AA's is
marked
> > "Use before Jan 93".

> > What ae the odds that these motors are still any good?  If they're no
good,
> > what is a good way to dispose of them?  And, what of the 10-12 packs of
> > igniters (still sealed in their plastic bags)?

> They should be just fine.  I've fired 12+ year old Estes motors
personally, and
> many have fired motors twice as old, or even more.  Consider it a gift
from your
> past self!

> If you don't want to use them, and would rather dispose of them instead,
just
> ask any member of your local rocketry club if they want to buy them, or
know
> someone who would.  Don't destroy them, no need (and a total waste).

Thanks!  I'll hang on to them then, and see about rebuilding the 'fleet.'.
Kinda
dissappointed that I didn't find a Commanche-3 in my two stops today (used
to
be my fave to fly).  Now all I need to do is find my airbrush... and figure
out how
to reliably start a cluster configuration.

Nice to see that some of the higher power stuff is now available without
Tripoli certification.

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Stephen DeArma » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 12:49:01


Quote:
> As long as they haven't been subjected to high temperature or humidity,
they
> should be fine. I've flown Estes motors over 30 years old that work as
good
> as they did in 1970.

Several of us have had the same results as Bob. If you stored them properly,
they're fine.

Randy

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Fred Shecte » Sat, 07 Dec 2002 23:51:06


The only motors that could be 'bad' would be Estes E15 motors.

They tended to fail loudly.

All the others should be fine.

-Fred Shecter NAR 20117

--
""Remove "zorch" from address (2 places) to reply.
http://www.cafeshops.com/babyback
http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewSellersOtherItems&userid=sh...


Quote:
> I was really into model rocketry about 10 years ago and recently noticed
> that the only thing left to do on a partially built Maxi-Force I have is the
> launch lugs and a paint job.  So...

> Opened up my old "launch box" and it seems I have about 40 Estes motors of
> all kinds.  These were new in 1991 or 1992 and have been kept in a "cool,
> dry place" all these years.  A "brand new" pack of Duracell AA's is marked
> "Use before Jan 93".

> What ae the odds that these motors are still any good?  If they're no good,
> what is a good way to dispose of them?  And, what of the 10-12 packs of
> igniters (still sealed in their plastic bags)?

> Thx!

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Gordon S. Hlavenk » Sun, 08 Dec 2002 01:28:04



Quote:
> Several of us have had the same results as Bob. If you stored them properly,
> they're fine.

Actually, my own experience was that storage didn't seem to matter
either.  When I got back into the hobby, I had a box full of Estes
motors about 10 years old.  They had been "stored" (I use the term
loosely :-) in car trunks, attics, garages, and ba***ts.  They had
been exposed to temperatures between -20F and +100F, humidities from
near zero to condensing, plus mechanical shock and vibration.

They all fired fine, from 13mm 1/4A to 24mm D.  (In fact, even the
Eveready lantern battery still worked!)

Now, the _NEW_ D motors I bought -- those had ejection problems.

--

                               Burma!

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Mr. Bill . . . Kenned » Sun, 08 Dec 2002 17:10:24


Hey Jerry,
I've heard mentioned that the AP in a composite motor degrades over time by
the chemical reaction of the bonding with the PB. If true, what can we do to
slow this down? What not to do to speed it up.

Lastly, does a BP motor ever go bad from chemical decomposition? (stored
correctly of course).

Later,
Mr. Bill


Quote:


> > I was really into model rocketry about 10 years ago and recently noticed
> > that the only thing left to do on a partially built Maxi-Force I have is
the
> > launch lugs and a paint job.  So...

> > Opened up my old "launch box" and it seems I have about 40 Estes motors
of
> > all kinds.  These were new in 1991 or 1992 and have been kept in a
"cool,
> > dry place" all these years.  A "brand new" pack of Duracell AA's is
marked
> > "Use before Jan 93".

> > What ae the odds that these motors are still any good?  If they're no
good,
> > what is a good way to dispose of them?  And, what of the 10-12 packs of
> > igniters (still sealed in their plastic bags)?

> > Thx!

> The motors will last 50 times as long as the batteries :)

> --
> Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA

> Please bring common sense back to rocketry administration.
> Produce then publish.

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Bob Kapl » Sun, 08 Dec 2002 23:13:48



Quote:
> I've heard mentioned that the AP in a composite motor degrades over time by
> the chemical reaction of the bonding with the PB. If true, what can we do to
> slow this down? What not to do to speed it up.

Over what period of time? And what is the result of this "going bad"? I've
flown 10-15 year old AP motors, and the propellant seemed to function fine
in all cases. Delay and/or ejection seems to be a different matter.

Quote:
> Lastly, does a BP motor ever go bad from chemical decomposition? (stored
> correctly of course).

Not in at least 30 years!

        Bob Kaplow      NAR # 18L       TRA # "Impeach the TRA BoD"
                >>> To reply, remove the TRABoD! <<<
Kaplow Klips & Baffle:      http://www.pleimling.org/le/Phantom4000.pdf
    www.encompasserve.org/~kaplow_r/    www.nira-rocketry.org    www.nar.org

        26-October, 2001: A day that will live in infamy
        Support Freedom: http://www.indefenseoffreedom.org/

        Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it
        with religious conviction. --  Blaise Pascal

 
 
 

Shelf life of Estes motors

Post by Jerry Irvin » Mon, 09 Dec 2002 11:07:35


In article


Quote:
> Hey Jerry,
> I've heard mentioned that the AP in a composite motor degrades over time by
> the chemical reaction of the bonding with the PB. If true, what can we do to
> slow this down? What not to do to speed it up.

> Lastly, does a BP motor ever go bad from chemical decomposition? (stored
> correctly of course).

> Later,
> Mr. Bill

Iron Oxide accelerates the degradation.  Oxidixing metals especially
Magnesium accelerates the process.  Low binder formulas accelerates the
process.  Virtually any finctional "catalyst" also does.

So if you were to have say a low aluminum moderately high binder and
zero catalyst formula you would be good.

I suggest U.S. Rockets or Composite Dynamics #1.

BP never "goes bad".  It is essentially a mineral and lasts for ages.

Jerry

--
Jerry Irvine, Box 1242, Claremont, California 91711 USA

Please bring common sense back to rocketry administration.
Produce then publish.