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The coupling of the physical and chemical processes controlling the ignition delays (ign) of hypergolic propellants complicates the direct analysis of the transient ignition processes. The transport properties of both the propellants and the ambient gas, and the heat of vaporization and reaction affect ign and must be considered experimentally. Furthermore, since hypergolic ignition occurs, by definition, on contact, the mechanics of initial contact and subsequent mixing can affect ign and must also be considered. Experimental results from a study of the hypergolic ignition of a catalytically promoted fuel with rocket grade hydrogen peroxide (RGHP) are presented. Statistical analysis of the experimental data was conducted to evaluate the relative effects of RGHP concentration, initial ambient pressure, and the ambient gas on ign. At RGHP concentrations of less than 92% in water, stable ignition was difficult to achieve. At sufficiently high Lewis number, an oscillatory ignition process is observed. A phenomenological model comprising mixing, RGHP decomposition, fuel heating and vaporization, and auto-ignition is presented and compared to the experimental results.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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