Experimental performance of the mixed-oxides-of-nitrogen-ammonia propellant combination in a 1000-pound-thrust rocket engine Page: 3 of 32
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NACA RM E55A07
Mixed oxides of nitrogen and ammonia are of interest as alternates
to nitric acid and jet fuel in storable JATO and missile applications
using pressurized propellant systems, since both are thermally stable,
low in cost, and noncorrosive to ordinary materials of construction. In
addition, the mixed-oxides-of-nitrogen - ammonia combination has a high-
er theoretical performance than nitric acid and jet fuel, and limited
experimental work indicates that smooth combustion may be attained.
Reference 1 includes an over-all evaluation of the mixed-oxides-of-
nitrogen - ammonia combination in addition to theoretical and experimen- a
tal performance figures. Rapid spontaneous ignition has been obtained
over a wide temperature range using an alkali metal in the ammonia feed
line (ref. 2).
Although run at constant thrust, the injectors used in this investi-
gation were so designed as to be adaptable to variable thrust operation.
That is, the injection orifices were designed to allow variation of their
effective size or number through the addition of a relatively simple
The following injectors were tested:
(1) A four-entry swirl cup at 300 pounds per square inch absolute
chamber pressure and 1100 pounds thrust
(2) A triplet impinging jet at 450 pounds per square inch absolute
and 1600 pounds thrust
(3) A hot-jet mixing injector at 400 pounds per square inch abso-
lute and 1400 pounds thrust
(4) A concentric swirl injector at 300 pounds per square inch abso-
lute and 1000 pounds thrust
(5) A two-entry swirl cup over a range of chamber pressures from 85
to 410 pounds per square inch absolute and thrusts from 200 to
Experimental values of specific impulse, characteristic velocity,
and thrust coefficient for a range of oxidant-fuel weight ratios are
presented for each injector and compared with the theoretical perform-
ance of reference 1.
Propellants and Flow System -
The oxidant was mixed oxides of nitrogen, which consisted of 70 to
72 percent nitrogen tetroxide and 28 to 30 percent nitric oxide. The
fuel was liquid anhydrous ammonia. Both were obtained as liquids in
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Tomazic, William A. & Kinney, George R. Experimental performance of the mixed-oxides-of-nitrogen-ammonia propellant combination in a 1000-pound-thrust rocket engine, report, March 28, 1955; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc61181/m1/3/: accessed December 13, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.