Encyclopedia Astronautica
LR87 Alumizine


Aerojet N2O4/Alumizine rocket engine. 1960's USAF development effort for a Titan storable engine using a metallized fuel (for greater impulse density) and gelled propellants (to facilitate in-space starts after a period of coasting).

Around 1960 USAF development effort was funded to develop a Titan storable engine using a metallized fuel (for greater impulse density) and gelled propellants (to facilitate in-space starts after a period of coasting). Laboratory tests were sufficiently favorable for considerable hopes to be raised. However, the limited amount of funding was not sufficient to resolve the technical problems, The Aerozine 50 was slurried with aluminum powder (using Carbopol 904 gelling agent), and the engine was operated without any modifications, but could not attain stable, long duration operation in that configuration. This was the first time a liquid rocket booster engine had ever been run on aluminized propellant. Many years later Aerojet operated small thrusters on metallized storable propellants and achieved satisfactory results.

Engine: 740 kg (1,630 lb). Area Ratio: 8. Propellant Formulation: N2O4/Alumizine-50.

Status: Out of Production.
Height: 3.13 m (10.26 ft).
Diameter: 1.14 m (3.74 ft).

More... - Chronology...


Associated Countries
See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Aerojet American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. Aerojet, Sacramento, CA, USA. More...

Associated Propellants
  • N2O4/Alumizine Nitrogen tetroxide became the storable liquid propellant of choice from the late 1950's. Alumizine was a mixture of 43% aluminum powder suspended in anhydrous hydrazine with a gelling agent. The idea was to increase the heat of combustion due to the high enthalpy of formation of aluminum oxide as a combustion product, similar to the metallized kerosene ("Kerosol") tested by Saenger in the 30's. Alumizine was never flown and was only tested in static ground tests. A drum of alumizine exploded in California when it was not disposed of safely. The fuel was proposed for some pressure-fed 'big dumb booster' designs of the late 1960's. More...

Bibliography
  • Kudryavtseva, V M, ed., Zhidkostnikh Raketnikh Dvigatley, Visshaya Shkola, Moscow, 1993.
  • Dorman, Bernie, et. al., Aerojet: The Creative Company, Stuart F Cooper Company, Los Angeles, 1995..

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