Open Access

Optimal design of a composite propellant formulation using response surface methodology


There is a continuous demand for high performance composite propellant formulations to meet mission requirements. The performance of composite propellant formulations can be enhanced by optimizing propellant formulation. However, the main objective of this study is to formulate a composition for composite propellant by optimizing the specific impulse which is the measure of propellant performance. A central composite design (ccd) consisting five ingredients (ammonium nitrate, powdered aluminum, polyester resin, ammonium dichromate and powdered charcoal) at five levels was used to formulate optimum propellant formulation from composite materials of ammonium nitrate based propellant verified for propellant characteristics using propellant performance evaluation programme (propep 3). The responses evaluated are specific impulse, characteristic velocity, density, temperature and molecular weight. Response surface methodology was used to analyze the results of the ccd of the composite formulations. The optimum values for specific impulse, characteristic velocity, density, temperature and molecular weight of the mixture from the surface plot are 212.178 s, 1335.81 m/s, 1640.6 k g/m3, 1968.73 k and 21.7722 g/mol respectively. The optimum predicted specific impulse was 212.178 s at composite composition of 73.61% ammonium nitrate, 4.36% powdered aluminum, 14.39% polyester resin, 5.10% ammonium dichromate and 2.54% powdered charcoal. The propellant optimum composition validated with propep 3 are in good agreement with each other in their accompany propellant characteristics. Therefore, the optimal propellant formulation enhanced the performance of solid propellants.

Publication timeframe:
4 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Materials Sciences, Functional and Smart Materials