Experimental Study of Polyurethane-Based Fuels with Addition of Paraffin and Aluminum for Hybrid Rocket Motors


  • Susane Ribeiro Gomes
  • Leopoldo Rocco Junior
  • José Atílio Fritz Fidel Rocco
  • Koshun Iha


Hybrid rocket motor, Aerospace propulsion, Rocket motors



Experimental investigation was conducted to determine the relative propulsive and combustion behavior of several polyurethane-based solid-fuel formulations containing 30% w/w of paraffin or 10% of aluminum powder. In total, seven solid-fuel formulations were investigated, four containing 30% of paraffin and three with 10% of aluminum. The polyurethane was synthesized with pre-polymer technology. The oxidizer was gaseous oxygen, which was forced into the combustion chamber with axial and swirl methods. Firing tests with 7 configurations were performed. Thrust measurements indicated that the addition of paraffin increased thrust at about 57% and regression rates at about 70%. No relevant improvement in performance was obtained with aluminum addition. Specific impulse decreased when aluminum particles were added to the fuel. The mixture that produced the best ballistic parameters was polyurethane plasticized with castor oil and 30% w/w of paraffin with gaseous oxygen injected through a swirler.






Original Papers