Vol.7     No.5      October1999                                                                 ISSN:0971-4413
TECHNOLOGY FOCUSDRDO LOGO
Bulletin of Defence Research & Development Organisation

PROPELLANT TECHNOLOGY

DRDO has developed several propellant technologies including RDX-containing high energy propellant (for guns), cast double base propellant, state-of-the-art HTBP-based composite propellant, composite modified double base propellant and pressed fuel rich propellant technologies besides the conventional extruded double base propellant technology (for rockets).

These propellants can be cast in various sizes and shapes using removable cores. This cost-effective technology uses multiple casting for manufacturing a large number of grains.

pin1.gif (1016 bytes)Rocket Propellants

Composite Propellants: These propellants are made of polymeric binder filled with an oxidiser and metallic fuel.

Elastomer Modified Double Base Propellants: These propellants are nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine-based, filled with an oxidiser and a metallic fuel, and cross-linked with a suitable ester. The high rigidity of these propellants coupled with high energy makes them more suitable for highly loaded, high thrust booster applications.

High Energy Smokeless Nitramine Propellants: These propellants do not have primary and secondary smokes. These are double base propellants filled with energetic fillers made either by improved casting powder or slurry cast techniques.

Extruded Double Base Propellants: These propellants are nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine based which are responsible for the low emission of primary and secondary smokes. After gelatinisation, these component are processed by hot forming, extrusion and stamping. Their relatively high rigidity and manufacturing process enable mass production of the grains of a limited size, well suited for booster application for small missile.

Cast Double Base Propellants: These are chemically similar to the extruded propellants and hence have similar primary and secondary smoke characteristics. These propellants can be cast in various shapes and sizes.

pin[1].gif (1016 bytes)Guns/Small Arms/Mortar Propellants

These propellants can be made by solvent and semisolvent processes and can be extruded in various shapes. The following four types of propellants are in use.

Single Base Propellants: The propellants are made of nitrocellulose either extruded in tubular, multitubular or honeycomb shapes or in the form of spherical balls for small arms, mortars and field guns.

Double Base Propellants: These propellants comprise nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine as major ingredients and are used for field guns, tank guns, mortars etc.

Triple Base Propellants: These propellants comprise nitrocellulose, nitroglycerine and nitroguanidine as major ingredients and find extensive use in Naval ammunition.

High Energy Propellants: These propellants comprise nitramine and nitrocellulose as major ingredients and are characterised by low flame temperature but high energy.

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Armaments,Indian Small Arms System, MultiBarrel Rocket System- Pinaka ,Fin Stabilized Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot, Illuminating Ammunition ,Bund Blasting Device,30mm HE Grenade for AGL,Charge Line Mine Clearing Equipment ,Propellant Technology, 84mm Light Weight RL Weapon ,Warheads ,Lead Zirconate Titanate Based Piezoceramics ,Armament Research Board