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Saturday, September 27, 2003
Armadillo Aerospace News: Mixed monoprop progress, Big vehicle landing gear
I skipped last week’s update partly because I was out of town all day Sunday when I usually write them, and partly because I was frustrated at the results of the day’s testing. Things are better now.
We finally had all the pieces together to do high quality engine development – high purity 50% rocket grade peroxide from FMC, high purity methanol, laser cut spreading plates and pack plates form Global Stencil, and a big batch of fresh rolled-foil catalyst from Catalytic Products.
The catalyst we had the most success with so far was a 200 pore-per-square-inch rolled foil corrugated catalyst. The 5.5” diameter catalyst was originally 3.5” deep, but used in that form it provided little activity, with most of the propellant being channeled straight through the pores by the gas from reaction at the pore edges. When we cut the catalyst into three sections a bit over 1” deep and interspersed a couple screens between them to break up the channeling, we finally got some good runs. However, the length of the runs was always limited – our standard test run of 9.6 liters was always starting to cloud up at the end, and looking up at the catalyst through the nozzle with a mirror showed areas that were no longer red hot. There was also some degradation in general reactivity over the span of many runs, which may have been due to poisoning or stripping. Read More
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