There are huge conceptual roadblocks describing how a burn rate modifier works to control propellant combustion. The good news is that Researchers in the Combustion Lab tackled the problem by designing a material intentionally packed with all the properties predicted to play a role in modifying propellant burn rates. The new material is called a metal-inorganic-framework (MIF). The molecular structure of a MIF resembles a metal-organic-framework (MOF) except the linker molecule is inorganic and oxidizer rich. With MIF powder, researchers have an approach to confront the problem of tailoring propellant burn rates with new intuition – one that takes specific aim at the confusion between material properties and their functional relationship with combustion performance. In August 2023, we demonstrated key MIF properties that enhance propulsion in an article published in Advanced Engineering Materials. In short, key properties include a targeted decomposition energy threshold, high porosity, surface chemistry to trigger catalysis, and metal cations that incite exothermicity. Burn rate modifiers will enable faster burning solid propellants and transform power generation technologies for our future.
SYNTHESIZING A METAL-INORGANIC-FRAMEWORK FOR PROPELLANT APPLICATIONS
October 31, 2023