Interior Ballistics

Definition of a JA-2 Equivalent Propellant to be Produced by Continuous Solventless Extrusion

[+] Author and Article Information
Thelma G. Manning

e-mail: thelma.g.manning.civ@mail.mil

Joseph Leone

Picatinny Arsenal, NJ 07806

Martijn Zebregs

e-mail: martijn.zebregs@tno.nl

Chris A. van Driel

Lange Kleiweg 137,
2288 GJ Rijswijk, The Netherlands

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received July 1, 2012; final manuscript received October 23, 2012; accepted manuscript posted January 7, 2013; published online April 19, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Bo S. G. Janzon. This material is declared a work of the US Government and is not subject to copyright protection in the United States. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.

J. Appl. Mech 80(3), 031405 (Apr 19, 2013) (7 pages) Paper No: JAM-12-1301; doi: 10.1115/1.4023315 History: Received July 01, 2012; Revised October 23, 2012; Accepted January 07, 2013

In order to eliminate residual solvents in ammunition and to reduce the emissions of volatile organic compounds to the atmosphere, the U.S. Army ARDEC has teamed with TNO in developing a new process for the production of solventless propellant for tank ammunition. To reduce the costs of solventless propellants production, shear roll mill and continuous extrusion processing was investigated. As described in this paper JA-2 a double base propellant cannot be processed without solvent by the extrusion process. An alternative JA-2 equivalent propellant was defined. The aim of this work is to demonstrate the manufacturing of this propellant by solventless continuous twin screw extrusion processing while maintaining gun performance characteristics of conventional JA-2 propellant. This is elucidated by explicitly researching the relationship between interior ballistic properties of the gun propellant and utilizing a continuous manufacturing process. Processing conditions were established, and the propellant was manufactured accordingly. The extruded propellant has the desired properties, which resulted in a comparable gun performance as the conventional JA-2 propellant.

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Fig. 1

Flow chart showing the approach of solvent less TSE manufacturing of gun propellant

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Fig. 2

Model-fit of the rheology data of the JA-2 equivalent propellant including 4 wt. % of inert plasticizer, measured at 80 °C

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Fig. 3

Cross sectional flow patterns of the capillary part of a 19-perf die as determined by the applied simulation software [5]. The colors indicate the velocity profile through the die. The red color indicates the highest velocity and the blue color the lowest velocity.

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Fig. 4

Dynamic vivacity of the baseline JA-2 propellant (triplicate tests)

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Fig. 5

Linear burn rate of the baseline JA-2 propellant (triplicate tests)

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Fig. 6

Theoretically predicted (short dashes) and experimentally determined (solid lines) dynamic vivacity curves of the preliminary propellant batch. The dynamic vivacity of the baseline JA-2 propellant (long dashes) is shown for comparison reasons.

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Fig. 7

Dynamic vivacity curves of preliminary propellant batch (dashed lines) compared to the second test batch produced by ram extrusion (solid lines)

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Fig. 8

Picture of the applied 45 mm TSE including take away system during solventless extrusion of the JA-2 equivalent propellant including 4 wt. % plasticizer. Number 1 shows die extruder head and number 2 shows the propellant strand.

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Fig. 9

Cross section of extruded JA-2 equivalent propellant

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Fig. 10

Duplicate dynamic vivacity curves of the extruded JA-2 equivalent propellant (solid lines). The dynamic vivacity of the baseline JA-2 propellant is shown as well (dashed line).

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Fig. 11

Linear burn rate of the extruded JA-2 equivalent propellant



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