Introduction: Rocket Engine
Disclaimer: This is a dangerous project used for educational purposes only. I take no responsibility for any injuries or damage to yourself or equipment that occur while following this procedure. This project should also take place outdoors.
Our task was to create a model rocket using the following materials.
KNO3 (Spectracide Stump Remover)
Granulated sugar/powdered sugar
Mortar and Pestle
Casings, or paper to make your own
Fuse or other charge
Current Source (Electric Source)
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Step 1: Setup
The mixture used in this engine is a 60% oxidizer (KNO3) to 40% propellant (Sugar).
Measure out 60 grams of KNO3 using the scale and grind into a fine powder using the mortar and pestle.
Also measure out 40 grams of Sugar using the scale and grind into a fine powder using the mortar and pestle.
Step 2: Combine/Mix/Dissolve
Mix the two powders together and add distilled water until both powders have completely dissolved.
Step 3: Heat
Put the mix of water KNO3 and sugar into the heating pan at 200 degrees.
Step 4: Create Putty
Using the spatula continuously mix the solution and wait until the water has boiled off as much as possible. (Keep the heat low, around 200 degrees to prevent caramelization which occurs around 320 degrees Fahrenheit). This will take time so be patient and allow the water to boil and evaporate leaving only a putty left over. Allow as much water to be removed as possible and then go to the next step.
Step 5: Dry the Putty
Remove the putty from the heating instrument and place within a bowl. Leave the putty for 24-48 hours to allow it to dry completely, it will dry faster if you flatten the putty increasing the surface area.
Step 6: Grind Putty
Once the putty has dried out, scrape it from the bowl, and grind it to a fine powder in the mortar and pestle.
Step 7: Casing
Put this powdered fuel aside for the moment. We must now build the casing to hold the fuel, unless proper casings have been bought.
Take the piece of paper and a ruler and draw 2 and a half inch strips longways, and cut them out. Take a gluestick and glue one side of the strip. Take the pen and wrap the strip around the pen glue side out. Keep it tight around the pen so that the casing will be strong. If necessary tape the end of the paper so the casing stays together even better.
Step 8: Dry Pack
Take the finely ground fuel, and using the funnel put a layer of fuel into the rocket.
Then insert the pen in order to pack the powder until firm. Hit the pen with a hammer to make sure it stays in place. Repeat this process until
Step 9: Create Nozzle
Take an eighth inch drill bit, and using a powerdrill, drill a nozzle half the length of the casing.
Step 10: Create Rocket
Take a small dowel rod, and attach it to the casing. The casing should have the nozzle facing down.
Step 11: Insert Igniter and Fire
Insert Igniter into nozzle, and attach an electric controller (current source), place the dowel rod in the ground and back away a safe distance before pressing the ignition key.