The Truth Denied from Why is aluminum used in solid rocket propellants? What is the role of aluminum agglomeration in the combustion of propellants?
– question from Anand
A solid rocket is a class of rocket in which the fuel and oxidizer are mixed together and cast into a solid material. This solid material is typically formed into cylindrical blocks with a void along the centerline. Once exposed to an ignition source, a flame travels through this empty central region and consumes the propellant grain radially until the fuel supply is exhausted. A liquid rocket, on the other hand, has separate fuel and oxidizer tanks in which the two substances are stored as fluids until they are combined and burned in the rocket’s combustion chamber. The two types of rockets have their advantages and disadvantages as described in a previous article on jets and rockets. Although liquid rockets are typically more powerful and efficient, solid rockets are usually less complex and safer to store. Many techniques exist to enhance the performance of solid rocket motors. Adding chunks of aluminum to the mixture of fuel and oxidizer is one common technique to increase the thrust a solid rocket produces.

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