>Sugar rocket knowledge dump<
Posted 16 May 2020 - 06:03 PM
My general knowledge upon the subject of sugar rockets is simple, yet I have built effective, repeatable, cost efficient, low time consuming, 1 diameter 6 length cardboard tube bodies with ~20 length ~8mm diameter bamboo stabilization sticks. The bentonite clay end plugs Are made 1inch thick within the tube upon both sides of 4 inches of propellant Which consists of a powdered fuel grain chemically consisting of 65%+35%+1% KNO3:Dextrose:Fe2O3 by weight, I mix the powders together in a Tupperware for atleast like five minutes of severe shake-mixing then I sift them together only to put the sifted mixture back in the Tupperware for another 5+ minute interval of crazy shaking. After this I ram the fuel in the tube after a powdered bentonite clay Plug with a measurement marked 1 inch aluminum dowel rod and hammer, making sure to hammer well after each tablespoon increment of fuel or clay added into the tube for ramming (small increments are really important to add in so your rocket doesnt blow out from uneven fuel packing, its for-sure worth the extra time 1000%), after this I drill it with small, thinner
metal bit of which I forgot the diameter of Currently. After Drilled I prepare a fuse wrapped with tin foil as to detonate the motor from the inner most core for maximum initial thrust. Now after I all tape it to a stick and launch from an 90 degree staked pvc pipe.... while they soar I do wonder the potential applications these sugar rockets hold for A.) Model rocketry B.) Fireworks C.) Tube vectored horizontal rockets as I have seen a sugar rocket sustain a horizontal flight and have since wondered if I can make these launch from tubes in my desired direction....aside from that Ill probably end up leaving more information along with photos and or videos for your research viewing pleasures
Posted 16 May 2020 - 06:07 PM
If you message me I can put any of these videos into iPhone grade slow motion for you otherwise, I hereby present to you, both failed and successful videos of sugar rocket launches, keep an eye/ ear out for Motor blowouts
Posted 16 May 2020 - 08:03 PM
- Micahama likes this
Posted 17 May 2020 - 01:17 AM
Your rocket fuel mix consisting of powdered Potassium Nitrate, Dextrose
and Iron Oxide is similar to what I've done in the past. I didn't use Dextrose,
however, but Confectioner's Sugar or Powdered Sugar (Powdered Sucrose
with a small amount of added Corn Starch as an anti-caking agent) from the
The results were very satisfactory for the rockets I made with the mix.
I never saw any need to attempt melting the sugar to produce R-Candy.
Thorough mixing of the powdered ingredients such as you described
always yielded good results.
I'd occasionally vary the mix slightly with small amounts of Charcoal added
or a small amount of Sulfur, not more than about 5% for either.
Although not a Sugar-Rocket, does anyone here remember the Jetex-50
rocket engine from the 40s and 50s for small model airplanes? I had one
in the mid 50s and it was a lot of fun. I wonder if such a design could be
used with pellets of the Sugar Fuel MIx instead of the Guanidine Nitrate
pellets it was designed for? It would probably be necessary to increase
the size of the exhaust nozzle to be safe. It would also be necessary
to assure that the Sugar Mix intended for such use would burn slowly
enough to not become hazardous.
I don't have mine any longer but it would be fairly easy to fabricate
something similar with Aluminum tubing or even Copper Tubing
which is readily available at hardware stores.
Some videos of the Jetex engines which have survived:
And some Ads:
At the bottom of the page are photos of the motors being tested.
Does the appearance of the exhaust flame look like it could be a
Edited by SeaMonkey, 17 May 2020 - 04:10 AM.
Posted 17 May 2020 - 09:00 AM
Posted 17 May 2020 - 10:16 PM
The use of iron/steel washers sounds good to me.
Inexpensive, practical and non-toxic. Those should
be capable of withstanding several seconds of hot
Posted 18 May 2020 - 09:59 PM
Posted 18 May 2020 - 10:50 PM
I would only use a metallic nozzle on very low thrust rockets such as are
used to propel model airplanes. For the very high thrust fireworks style
of rocket I agree, they would be out of place. I really like the idea of ten
to twenty second burn times with low thrust.
It is interesting that the New Jetex Rocket Engines for models have
abandoned the re-usable metallic engine for the traditional paper
tubes and clay nozzles. Probably for both safety and cost considerations.
Even though their fuel mixes are cool burning and low thrust, one can
never know what a curious "amateur" might do in order to get "more power."
Posted 19 May 2020 - 12:13 AM
I downloaded your graphics files but my old (more than 15 years) computer didn't
have the horsepower to play them. Fortunately I have an Android TV Box with
an h.265 graphics capable processor that played them and oriented them
properly as well.
Your vids remind me of my own early rocket trials when I was young. My very
first rocket was a Sodium Nitrate fuel mix that went sideways about six feet into
its ascent and did some spectacular loop de loops for several seconds. It
was a slow burner that moved rather slowly by rocket standards. Though I
tried many times to make another that did the same sort of antics I never was
able to figure out what made it so strange. All my later rockets went straight
I noticed some of your rockets had what looked like a longer burn time well up
into their altitude. Were those core burners also?
Posted 19 May 2020 - 04:34 PM
Videos in that file have been made the with the same methods
Posted 20 May 2020 - 12:37 AM
Whether your rockets are "core burners" or "end burners" would depend
upon how deeply you drill into the rammed propellant mix to create a
hollowed out core.
If you drill into the propellant only a short distance to establish a site for
fuse placement for ignition then the rocket would be an "end burner."
Once ignited the propellant would burn progressively up the tube from
the nozzle end up through the propellant until extinguished.
If, on the other hand, you drill deeply into the propellant all the way to
create a fully hollowed out core, then the rocket would be a "core burner."
End burners have a longer burn time than core burners with moderate
Core burners have a shorter but very powerful burn with intense thrust.
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