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KNO3 / Powdered Sugar VS Black powder


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#1 insutama

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 11:25 AM

Just wondering what makes for a better rocket engine KNO3 / Powdered Sugar or black powder ? pros ? cons ?



#2 dagabu

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 11:42 AM

Just wondering what makes for a better rocket engine KNO3 / Powdered Sugar or black powder ? pros ? cons ?

 

There are so many variables that it's completely impossible to answer the question in an apples to apples way, they both have some really nice effects and both have challenges.  IMHO, I prefer BP, it is incredibly simple to make, no ball mill is required for a scratch mix and it can be pounded with a plastic/leather mallet on site and launched seconds later while sugar fuels take some thought and planning. 

 

Some will post about the impulse difference between sugar and BP but the reality is that both propellants have the ability to have decent impulses if the process is taken all the way to the best performing comp one can make.  I suggest you try both, sugar is EZPZ to make if you dont cook it and BP is simple as well.  


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#3 insutama

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 12:36 PM

I was planning on defiantly trying both i just put together a small bp rocket engine i guess ill see how that works :) it will be my first one from bp.

I pounded a benanite plug in the bottom then i slowly compressed little bit of bp then added more and compressed and repeated till the tube was almost full then i caped it with a other benanite plug then i drilled by hand a 1/8'th hole 75% threw the engine  does this sound like i did it properly ?



#4 dagabu

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 12:44 PM

BP is incredibly stable with the kind of pressures we can create with a plastic/leather hammer.  The small increments are a very wise idea, getting some tooling is an even better idea.  If this is your first time working with BP and rockets, email me, I have some free tooling for N00bs that will help get you started making 1/2" rockets.  

 

This video shows this exact tooling as used to make a 1/2" motor with a pinch of Ti at the end powering a monocopter. 

 


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#5 insutama

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 12:58 PM

wow thats awsome i want to make one of them :) kinda hard to tell but did it take off into the sky ? if so how did it fly like that ?


Edited by insutama, 28 January 2015 - 12:59 PM.


#6 dagabu

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:13 PM

Yes, they do!

 


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#7 insutama

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:26 PM

wow this is probally one of the coolest things i have seen in fireworks i need to know how to do this hahaha


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#8 Differential

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 01:35 PM

Decent rocket candy is definitely quicker to make.  I would use a 70:30 ratio of KNO3 to sucrose for an end burner.  Dissolve the KNO3 and sugar in hot water, and heat (not over flame!) until the water is gone.  This mixes the compounds on a molecular level.  When done, you should have a stiff, off-white paste that can be compressed while still hot.  Compress it well, air pockets will lead to very uneven burning.

 

Black powder will give you more thrust, but requires more time to make even if it is unmilled.



#9 insutama

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 02:36 PM

well the result for my first engine were not so good all the powder seemed to go off at once and didnt really go anywere damn :(



#10 Differential

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 02:43 PM

I was planning on defiantly trying both i just put together a small bp rocket engine i guess ill see how that works :) it will be my first one from bp.

I pounded a benanite plug in the bottom then i slowly compressed little bit of bp then added more and compressed and repeated till the tube was almost full then i caped it with a other benanite plug then i drilled by hand a 1/8'th hole 75% threw the engine  does this sound like i did it properly ?

Did you use an end-burning mix for a core-burning rocket?

Could have been your fuel was burning too hot, or the nozzle was too small.


Edited by Differential, 28 January 2015 - 02:47 PM.


#11 insutama

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 03:37 PM

i used a small 3/8" inside diameter and maybe a 1/4" thick nossle with a 1/8" hole. I used goex FFFF black powder for fuel 



#12 dagabu

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 04:36 PM

wow this is probally one of the coolest things i have seen in fireworks i need to know how to do this hahaha

 

No problem, here is the tutorial:

 

TUTORIAL


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#13 dagabu

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 04:41 PM

Decent rocket candy is definitely quicker to make.  I would use a 70:30 ratio of KNO3 to sucrose for an end burner.  Dissolve the KNO3 and sugar in hot water, and heat (not over flame!) until the water is gone.  This mixes the compounds on a molecular level.  When done, you should have a stiff, off-white paste that can be compressed while still hot.  Compress it well, air pockets will lead to very uneven burning.

 

Black powder will give you more thrust, but requires more time to make even if it is unmilled.

 

A scratch mix of BP should only take a minute to mix the three ingredients and then ram the comp into the tube.  Dusty?  Yes. The best method? No. But definitely faster.  


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#14 Differential

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 04:57 PM

I would agree, if the ingredients are already powdered.  I was thinking of the time it takes to pre-grind, since I lack the foresight to store ready to mix powders. 

But I get much better results from semi-quick Rcandy than scratch BP.



#15 dagabu

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 09:34 PM

Using a bullet blade grinder, it would take mere seconds to grind up the KNO3, air float charcoal already comes powdered and sulfur, even if clumped can be rendered to powder just by crushing it.  Many ways to skin a cat Diff, best to not speak in absolutes and give room for other experiences. 

 

Either way, the time it takes to make either is minimal if the prep is done ahead of time and proper steps taken to protect yourself in the case of fire.  Really, dont take shortcuts when handling BP or R-candy. 


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#16 Josh1986

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 08:10 AM

Dagabu I am just getting in the hobby and I seen you had some stuff you said that u would get rid of for rockets if you still have the stuff can you please email me at chiekajosh@gmail.com our if any one has stuff for cheap could you please let me know. Like I said I just got in to the hobby and basically need every thing thank you all and have a great day
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#17 MadMat

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 10:36 AM

I prefer rcandy, but that's because I have had nothing but problems with BP rockets. I have gotten very few to fly; they are either bombs on a stick or upside down fountains that don't take off. After doing extensive research, I may have found solutions to my problems such as, waxing the tubes ect. But why go through all that, when my sugar rockets have flown fine from the first one I ever made? So, I am biased towards rcandy.


Edited by MadMat, 08 August 2017 - 10:37 AM.


#18 Baldor

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 12:48 PM

I'm of the opposite opinion, MadMat. I tried candy and its a mess to make for me. I must prepare all the fuel and load the rockets in a row, and must use an skillet or similar. With BP, i just measure the ingredients, put in the ball mill (For rockets, you could get good results screen mixing, i read) and forget for a few hours. I make enough BP for a dozen of rockets or so in one batch. Next, when I'm in the mod, I wet it a little and pass it trough an screen, basically to avoid dust. Since very little water have been used, you can use it right now, but I let it dry. I then store it. Loading a rocket once you have the BP it's just a little work, and I didn't burn my fingers with hot candy. Maybe it's more total work than with RCandy, but you can pace it however you want, and you learn the basics for the next step, some basic charcoal based stars.

 

I only had problems with my first BP rockets, since I tried 75-15-10 BP, pine, ballmilled, core burners.  All CATOs. Then I switched to 60-30-10 and all rockets flew without a problem.



#19 insutama

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:34 AM

Do you guys use nozzles with your bp core burners

#20 Mumbles

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Posted 09 August 2017 - 10:58 AM

That all depends on what fuel you're going to use.  If you're using milled hot BP, then don't use a nozzle.  If you're using something like 6:3:1 or 7:2:1, then do use a nozzle.  


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