Launching model rockets is fun especially if you want to try and get them to fly as high as possible. Model rockets come with motors that are made up of fuel and an oxidizer, this is the propellant. So what oxidizers do model rockets use?
The oxidizer is one of the ingredients that provide the oxygen that is needed to produce the appropriate thrust along with the other ingredient usually black powder. There are main oxidizers for the amateur rocketeers are potassium nitrate, liquid oxygen, and nitrous oxide. Using liquid oxygen is doable but it is expensive.
In this post, we will go through what oxidizers do model rockets use so you can go launching rockets with confidence. Let’s get started!
What Are Oxidizers In Model Rockets?
The role of an oxidizer in rockets is that it provides the oxygen to the fuel which is needed for the burning process. In simple terms, an oxidizer is an agent that releases oxygen in combination with fuel to allow the rocket to fly.
Without an oxidizer, rocket engines would just release a quick of gases and smoke before immediately suffocating themselves. All forms of combustion require oxygen.
What Oxidizer Do Model Rockets Use?
The main oxidizer used is potassium nitrate (KNO3). With other ones that are being used such as sodium and calcium nitrates as well as mixtures of sodium and potassium nitrate.
Remember that the issue with the oxidizer is the purity of the material. And the next issue is the particle size needs to be smaller.
What Fuel Do Model Rockets Use?
There are 2 main types of rocket motors. These are as follows.
A black powder used in rocket motors is also called gun powder. Black powder is made of charcoal, sulfur, and potassium nitrate.
The black powder is cheaper and ignition is relatively easy comparing to other alternatives. But it burns very fast, it’s volatile and shipping requires HAZMAT shipping.
Composite used in rocket motors is simply that the propellant is a mixture of ingredients such as fuel and oxidizer substances together. Just creates a chemical reaction.
Composite is more expensive than black powder and harder to ignite but it performs better.
What Is The Best Fuel For Model Rockets?
Simply model rocket motors are made up of a combination of fuel and an oxidizer, this is the propellant. The most common model rocket engines are made of black powder and use the following ingredients such as charcoal, potassium nitrate, and sulfur.
How To Dispose Of Model Rocket Engines?
Disposing of an unused old model rocket engine is fairly straightforward. You need to soak the rocket engine in water for about 24 hours. This will disintegrate the product and render the engine harmless.
The paper casings will automatically become unwound and the propellant, ejection charge, and delay will separate from each other and fall to the water’s bottom.
The same thing will happen to the natural clay material comprising the cap and the nozzle. You can safely dispose of them in an outside trash receptacle.
Finally, an oxidizer is one of the ingredients that provide the oxygen that is needed to produce the appropriate thrust along with the other ingredient usually black powder.
There are main oxidizers for the amateur rocketeers are potassium nitrate, liquid oxygen, and nitrous oxide. Using liquid oxygen is doable but it is expensive.