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Performance Calculations of New Propellant Systems


Rice, Harold Egbert (1947) Performance Calculations of New Propellant Systems. Engineer's thesis, California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/VJT1-6602.


The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the effect on performance and chamber temperature of adding hydrogen to a propellant system. The systems investigated are:

(1) RFNA-Aniline

(2) Nitromethane

(3) Anhydrous hydrazene-liquid oxygen

Since a systematic investigation of the performance parameters of the RFNA-Aniline system over a wide range of mixture ratios has never been made, it was decided to make these calculations, in addition to the investigations stated above.

The results of the calculations can best be summarized by a study of the figures at the end of the thesis. A few generalizations can be made. The effect of adding hydrogen in small quantities to a high temperature system is to increase the performance considerably without too much change in the chamber temperature. As more hydrogen is added, the percentage increase in performance. If hydrogen is added in large quantities, both the performance curve (effective exhaust velocity) and the chamber temperature curve flatten out.

The behavior discussed above is characteristic of hot propellant systems such as RFNA-Aniline and anhydrous hydrazene. In a low temperature system, such as nitromethane, the effect is quite different. The addition of hydrogen in small quantities causes a rapid decrease in chamber temperature, but the increase in performance is considerably less on a percentage basis. As more hydrogen is added the changes in performance and chamber temperature are almost linear.

Item Type:Thesis (Engineer's thesis)
Subject Keywords:Aeronautical Engineering
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Aeronautics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Altman, David
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:1 June 1947
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:12142015-150152042
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:9324
Deposited By: Benjamin Perez
Deposited On:14 Dec 2015 23:30
Last Modified:17 Mar 2023 22:11

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