Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Aerospace Engineering

Major Professor

Gary A. Flandro

Committee Members

Trevor M. Moeller, L. Montgomery Smith


The use of aluminum as an energetic additive in solid rocket propellants has been around since the 1950’s. Since then, much research has been done both on the aluminum material itself and on chemical techniques to properly prepare aluminum particles for injection into a solid propellant. Although initial interests in additives were centered on space limited applications, performance increases opened the door for higher performance systems without the need to remake current systems. This thesis aims to compare the performance for aluminized solid rocket motors and non-aluminized motors, as well as focuses on design considerations for a thrust stand that can be created easily at low cost for initial testing. A theoretical model is created for predicting propellant performance and the results are compared with experimental data taken from the thrust stand as well as existing data. What is seen at the end of testing is the non-aluminized grains follow the same trends as previously conducted tests and firings. The aluminized grains follow their expected trend but at a lower performance level due to grain degradation. However, the aluminized grains still show a specific impulse increase of 6%-23% over the non-aluminized grains.

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