Monday, September 22, 2014

TR-1 Cato

Theo and I tested the TR-1 motor on Saturday and unfortunately suffered a cato.  It was an impressive sounding motor for that first few milliseconds though.  Apparently I should have rethought my decision to use Dextrose in place of Sorbitol.  On paper the change seemed fine but I had limited experience with Dextrose and never in something of this size.  The actual casting of the grain segments went fine but I experienced some slumping in two of segments that I cast.  At the time I decided that the slumping was due to having removed the segments in question too soon from the mould.  I believe that segment slump either contributed to or was the direct cause of the cato.  Fortunately I had cast an extra segment and at the end of the day, long after the firing, that segment which had been stored in the same conditions as some similarly sized Sorbitol segments that Rick had cast had slumped.  The sorbitol segments remained fine.  The dextrose segment had slumped so severely that the core was essentially gone.  I know of many folks that have use dextrose based propellants with no reports of slumping so I’m unclear of the reason, maybe the size of the segments?  For now I will switch back to Sorbitol in the TR-1 motor and save the dextrose for some much smaller scale motor testing.  We had a good time regardless.  The guys at FAR were very helpful, and the site had grown quite a bit since our last visit there some three years or so ago.  Rick Maschek also provided lots of assitance and camera work.  Rick also had a nice firing of a KNSB motor with a Double-D grain configuration.  The third photo is of Rick's firing.  The last photo is af an  AP motor firing that anomther FAR member (Erik, I think) conducted.


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