Sunday, December 05, 2010

Testing results... sort of...

We went out to FAR setup the teststand, and the little stainless motor.
The temperature was really cold (45 F) and the cat pack never warmed up. By the time it would have been warm, it was dead, due to contaminated peroxide.

I disassembled the cat pack and dropped the screens in the peroxide dregs from the Jug we loaded from and there was almost no activity.

I then got a jug from a different batch and tried that, no activity.

So I cleaned the screens in 68% nitric acid. I then tried them in both batches of peroxide. Batch #1 killed the screen almost instantly.Batch #2 was reactive, so I let a screen soak in batch #2 after 2 or three minutes the screen was no longer reactive. The only conclusion is that both batches of peroxide were contaminated, batch #2 less so.

As a Final test I took a fresh clean screen and the screen that sat in batch 2 and put both in my beaker of peroxide, there was a big difference in reactivity, something is definitely contaminated. My Peroxide supplier thinks it was phosphate and has redone his proces to remove phosphate.

The end result is that engine tests will have to wait till I can get new peroxide or get my spargeing plant up and running and make my own propellant. The current tall pole in that process is diesel generator problems/waiting for parts.

In the mean time I'm going to work on tank development and some guidance and control electronics.


Jonathan said...


Sorry to hear but the peroxide. I was working yesterday but if you need help with the spargeing plant setup, let me know, I'm just around the corner in Mojave.


Ed LeBouthillier said...

I have a flickr set of photos I took while Paul was doing his tests here:

dave w said...

We were running into something similar several years ago with ERPS - we ultimately determined that we had phosphate in our peroxide, and it was "no wonder the engine behavior has been so consistently inconsistent!"

The symptoms were very much like what you describe: the catalyst would work and then not work, and washing it with nitric acid would
restore activity. I think we ultimately got some good peroxide out of the contaminated batch by fractional freezing.


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