Modeling and experiments of laser-induced ignition of nitramine propellants

S. J. Ritchie, S. T. Thynell, K. K. Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The objective of the work is to develop and experimentally verify a model for CO2 laser-induced ignition of nitramine-based propellants. The one-dimensional model considers heat conduction in the condensed-phase coupled to heat and mass transport with global chemical kinetics of a heterogeneous propellant in the gas-phase region. The highly nonlinear model was solved numerically. Experimentally, increases in heat flux [125-375 W/cm2 (193-578 cal/s-in.2)] lowered the ignition delay time, but changes in pressure [1.38-3.79 MPa (200-550 psia)] had very little effect. This supports the assumption that cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine decomposition is primarily temperature controlled. These trends are correctly predicted by the model. Predictions of ignition delay time match the experimental data within the measurement uncertainty. Sensitivities of the numerical solution to the material properties and kinetic rate constants are addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-374
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Propulsion and Power
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Space and Planetary Science


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