Description: Repeated exposure of a propellant to liquid nitrogen causes thermal stress gradients within the material resulting in cracking and particle size reduction. This process is termed cryocycling. The authors conducted a feasibility study, combining experiments on both inert and live propellants with three modeling approaches. These models provided optimized cycle times, predicted ultimate particle size, and allowed crack behavior to be explored. Process safety evaluations conducted separately indicated that cryocycling does not increase the sensitivity of the propellants examined. The results of this study suggest that cryocycling is a promising technology for the demilitarization of tactical rocket motors.
Date: May 1, 1995
Creator: Whinnery, L.; Griffiths, S. & Lipkin, J.
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