Infrared irradiance reduction in minimum smoke propellants by addition of potassium salt

Yoo Jin Yim, Myung Wook Jang, Eui Yong Park, Jong Seop Lee, Houkseop Han, Won Bok Lee, Soon Ho Song, Min Taek Kim, Ji Chang Yoo, Myong Won Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


One of the plume characteristics of minimum smoke propellant is the infrared (IR) radiation signature, which may be useful for detection of rocket. The IR irradiance is known to be reduced by afterburning suppression in rocket plume by addition of potassium salt in propellant. The minimum smoke propellant with nitrate ester polyether (NEPE) binder system and nitramine oxidizers was researched for the afterburning and IR irradiance difference according to the content of potassium salt as afterburning suppressant in propellant formulation. The propellants were formulated to satisfy the level of AGARD smoke class AA and potassium sulfate was selected as afterburning inhibitor suitable for NEPE propellant. The afterburning flame length and mid-range IR intensity were measured, while conducting static firing tests of 6 inch (15.24 cm) standard rocket motors loaded with minimum smoke propellants of the different contents of potassium sulfate. The total IR irradiance of HMX/RDX propellant with 1.1% potassium sulfate was reduced to about 23% compared to the propellant without afterburning suppressant due to the inhibition of afterburning. Also, the total IR irradiance of the HNIW (30%)/RDX propellant was found to be almost three times more than that of the HMX/RDX propellant although the content of potassium sulfate was the same of 1.1% in both propellants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalPropellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Feb 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Chemical Engineering(all)


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