Ready for Transfer

Automated Propellant Blender

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Laboratory: NASA Johnson Space Center (NASA – JSC)

Technology: Automated propellant blender

Opportunity: This technology is available for licensing through NASA’s Technology Transfer Program. The agency is seeking interested industry partners to license and commercialize the technology.

Details: The automated propellant blender was developed by inventors at NASA – JSC with the goal of creating a safer, more efficient, and economical way to blend propellants. The automated blender technology and method is used mainly for the production of zirconium potassium perchlorate (ZPP) propellant, and has produced compositions that demonstrate faster burn rates and are more dependable than mixtures from other blending processes. 

Benefits: The automated propellant blender provides numerous benefits to the manufacturing and chemical industries. It is much safer than the previously used hand-blending technique in that it greatly reduces the likelihood and danger of explosion by removing the human proximity involved in mixing and allowing for a more consistent yield in the mixture. 

The technology is also extremely versatile in that it can be used to produce other pyrotechnic mixtures that require a solvent precipitation process. The blender technology’s automated process also reduces the cost and amount of time a solvent needs to be handled, ultimately reducing the chance for an accidental spill or other hazardous situation.

Potential Applications: The following are just a few of the industries where the automated propellant blender tech can be applied:

  • Auto – used to produce the charge used in airbag initiators
  • Aerospace – used to produce the pyrotechnics needed in explosive bolts for vehicle separation, emergency egress, and other areas
  • Chemical and Manufacturing – used to produce a variety of mixtures that require a solvent precipitation process
  • Military – used to produce igniter and pyrotechnic compositions that are found in munitions and propellants used in rockets

Contact: For more information on this technology, contact NASA – JSC’s Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office at commercialization@jsc.nasa.gov.