Igniting sugar rocket propellant



I'm kind of new to this group, but I've been reading posts by you guys
for a while. This is sort of off the topic of pyrotechnics, but
ignition is an issue for any sort of pyro creation. My friend and I
recently launched a rocket on a 6 grain K motor we cast out of a KNO3/
sugar mix. The exact comp was 65% KNO3 and 35% erythritol. When we
were trying to launch, we burned through a couple e-matchs that did
not ignite the motors. We decided to try coating an e-match with a
thick layer of pyrodex, which eventually did the trick. After the e-
match went off the rocket smoked on the pad for about 7 seconds before
it finally built up enough pressure and heat to launch. Once it was
going the motor burned great, it was about a 5 second burn and sent
the rocket to 5400 feet, and got close to Mach. We'd hoped to get
higher, but I wouldn't be surprised if we burnt through an entire
grain while sitting on the pad. The only issue we had with the launch
was with the igniting of the motor. As a rocket propellant, the sugar
mixture we used has been relatively untested. As far as I know only 2
other people have launched rockets on this mixture, and we're trying
to work out the kinks. It seems like the regular e-matches did not get
hot enough to ignite the motor, and even the e-match in pyrodex was
barely able to start it. An alternative we were considering was a
thermite ignitor, but I know very little about the production and
usage of thermite. I'm sure the temperatures produced in a thermite
reaction would be more than enough to get that motor going. So my
question,

can thermite be used in an electric ignitor, and can an e-match start
a thermite reaction? Also from the research I've done, iron oxide and
aluminum metal powder make the best thermite. Is this true?

All advice and input is greatly appreciated!

-Malek

.



Relevant Pages

  • Re: Igniting sugar rocket propellant
    ... recently launched a rocket on a 6 grain K motor we cast out of a KNO3/ ... hot enough to ignite the motor, and even the e-match in pyrodex was ... usage of thermite. ...
    (rec.pyrotechnics)
  • Re: Igniting sugar rocket propellant
    ... take a look at his A-100 motor design as well. ... recently launched a rocket on a 6 grain K motor we cast out of a KNO3/ ... hot enough to ignite the motor, and even the e-match in pyrodex was ... usage of thermite. ...
    (rec.pyrotechnics)
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