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Saturday, July 12, 2003

Armadillo Aerospace News: Catalyst bale, Forced preheat, Big vehicle work
chabot imageWe tried an alternate catalyst design fro Catalytic Products International this week. It is basically a mass of thin stainless steel ribbons that have been crimped like heating elements, then coated with a catalyst. It is provided in a pack wired together like a hay bale. We were hoping that a platinum based catalyst on a stainless steel base would be a metallic bond, but it turned out to be more of a platinum-black powder coating, and the adhesion was terrible. It was probably fine for gas processing (the intended application), but you could rub the coating off with gloved fingers, and rocket engine liquid / high speed gas flows took it right off. Baking it on under flame helped a bit, but not nearly enough. When we fired an engine with this catalyst in it, we wound up with a big ring of black goo on the ground under the nozzle where all the catalyst had been washed off. Read More


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