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Consequence of Accidental Ignition Experiment

Part 6



Summary: the task is to melt 1 kg of KNO3-NaNO3-sorbitol 35-30-35 propellant, heat it to 180-190° C without stirring until complete dissolution of nitrates and ignite it in hot liquid state from the top surface.


Starting materials:

KNO3:and NaNO3 reagent grade "pure for analysis". Moisture content 0.1-0.2%. They were milled together with coffee mill, crystals measured 50 microns to 300 microns.

Sorbitol: pharmaceutical grade. Moisture content 0.2-0.3%.



Experiment setup was the same as in the first test.

Two metal rods 1m height were placed at 1m distance from each other for the scale purposes.

1 kg batch of thoroughly mixed powdered KNO3-NaNO3-sorbitol propellant mixture was placed in aluminum pan. Small propane burner was used as heat source.



Melting process and ignition, frames from video

0 min

10 min

15 min

20 min

25 min

30 min

35 min

37 min

38 min - ignition of propellant drops from the propan burner.

Video of the ignition


Propellant temperature - unknown.

Ambient temperature +5° C.

Burn time ~0.4 s.

Fireball height is about 3-4 m.

Fireball width is about 2 m.








27.11.2011 Serge77