Point of Contact: Dr. Robert Frederick, email: robert.frederick@uah.edu

Preparation of Solid Propellant Sample

Solid Propellant Sample Preparation in HPL

The PRC High Pressure Laboratory (HPL) is a state-of-the-art lab for performing experimentation on solid energetics. The PRC HPL allows researchers to test solid propellants under high-pressure conditions in order to evaluate burn rate at varying levels of chamber pressure up to 5000 psi. In the lab, there are two test cells with 1-foot thick steel reinforced concrete walls, a fume hood for chemical cleanup, and a grounded work area for handling energetics. One test cell utilizes a stainless steel combustion chamber with an ultrasonic sensor to take burn rate at high pressures. The other test cell has an x-ray system capable of doing live x-ray videography of burning samples through combustion chambers under high-pressure conditions. The x-ray system also performs computed tomography of samples configurations. The PRC established the HPL in 1991.

Electric Solid Propellant Combustion Experiment

Electric Solid Propellant Combustion Experiment Showing Local Combustion at Electrode Interface23

Recent research includes: fundamental studies of electric solid propellants with laboratory demonstrations of flame sensitivity and electrochemical dependency, burn rate determination of solid propellant samples using ultrasonic pulse-echo techniques, burn rate determination of electric solid propellants with live x-ray videography, and non-destructive examination of porous hybrid grains using x-ray computed tomography. A recent paper also details safety practices and technology control methods that are used in the HPL.