Quantcast

6mm Reload composites?;dream or a possibility?

The Rocketry Forum

Help Support The Rocketry Forum:

ScrapDaddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
1
I know this sound totally 50 years from now but while I was posting on another thread here I got into a short discusion with someone about the possiblitys of 6mm realoads I have caught news that ***** ***** ********* is develeoping them (it's not displayable since I don't know it firsthand but if you do want to know the manufacturer just pm me; but if you are even viewing this thread there is an exclent chance that you already know) so I was wondering if anyone has gotten any news on the possiblity that some crazy manufacturer has any plans for 6mm reload composites?
Pros:we can finally lift payloads in micromaxxes with FYI is now an offical NAR challange
We can finnally break some clouds with these tiny birds.....
Cons: High loss possiblity, all of you micromaxxers know the feeling, OMG where did my micromaxx go?
Manufacturing them; how on earth would you make somthing like a reload casing in a 6mm size
Assebling them; you have all had the feeling "Whoops I got grease
on the o-rings!!"
Igniting them; don't quote me on this but the fattest q2 iv seen was about 3mm across; although I don't se why I couldn't just use nicrome wire.


Ok so people is this possible or fantsy? Please vote and post :D
 

ben_ullman

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
1,509
Reaction score
0
Green Monkey Aerospaces name can be displayed on TRF, not sure why people have issues with that.

6mm reloads are not that hard. reloads would be a pain to assemble but not that bad.

Ben
 

powderburner

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
7,356
Reaction score
4
6mm reloads might not be too bad if you are really into experimenting, and designing/building your own motors, but I just cannot see how something like this could ever be successful on a retail level

People who really like to do it can build their own kit cars, but the percentage of people who do so does not even register on national automobile sales

A good indicator for this motor category might be the 10mm "contest" motors that used to be available a few years back. Go into the NAR records and find out how many were ever used in competition. Go ahead and triple or quadruple that number, to allow for some testing and development of competitive designs. Yes, this approach to calculating the number of motors used cuts out the people who bought a few for fun, or just to say they did, or to stash 'em in a collection. I'll bet the number of 10mm motors actually flown for competition isn't even recognizeable against 300 million BP motors made by our Penrose friends.

And our hobby has probably shrunk since then---probably half as many serious low-power rocketry nuts who would even be interested? (You ain't gonna sell any $5 MMX motors at W-Mart, if you could even make them that cheap)

A 6mm composite reloadable would definitely be fun as a learning experience, as a technology push, or for just plain showing off, but I just don't believe there is any kind of retail market that would make it worth while
 

kullas

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2009
Messages
134
Reaction score
0
Hmm i have some extra sugar made up i may have to heat it up and stick some in a spent case to see what it does.
 

The EGE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Messages
535
Reaction score
0
As powderburner pointed out, there's just not a commercial market for them; I doubt GMA would bother.

There's also some practical problems.

1) APCP (composite propellant) burns at roughly 1/2" per second if I recall correctly. A motor with 4mm wide grains (and that's probably larger than it would actually be) and a 2mm core would thus have a burn time of under 1/10 second; that would be practically useless. With an endburner, even with Warp-9, cross-sectional area is so small that you're looking at thrust of about 0.8 N maximum, and since such a motor would be at very low pressure (with an inferior nozzle), the thrust would be even lower; perhaps 0.2N - not even able to lift itself.

2) You won't be able to fit much of an igniter in. Bare nichrome won't ignite APCP, and pretty much any other igniter won't fit inside even with a minimum of pyrogen.

3) Hardware would be really really expensive to machine in such a tiny size at low production volumes. And it'd be so thin that it'd be easy to break.

4) Micromaxx rockets are hard to spot at the altitude they currently achieve. At 2 or 4 times that, they'd be impossible to find.

5) APCP would be very difficult to cast at that grain size. The grains themselves would be too fragile to ship. You would have to pour them yourself and immediately load the motor.

6) In order to fit any pyrogen-based igniter, the nozzle would have to be very wide, and that would prevent it from being very efficient.

7) You're talking absolutely miniature components - the delay grain would be about the size of a pencil lead. No one wants a reload they have to load with tweezers...

8) Cost... APCP is more expensive than BP, and the internal components would add a lot of cost. No one wants cost-per-flight several times higher than comparable-impulse motors, not to mention the casing cost.

9) There's not much point. There's not gonna be much substantial weight savings, and these rockets are so tiny that drag doesn't come much into play.

10) The delays used in composite motors tend to be pretty long... The forward closure would be as long as the case.

So, dimes to dollars says you're never gonna see a commercial 6mm reload. If you can make one (safely... that means waiting till you're a bit older), then I'll be pretty impressed.
 

Rocketjunkie

Addicted to APCP
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
4,137
Reaction score
363
I've looked into Micro-Maxx size composites, single use. The propellant would be cast directly into the phenolic case. They would be full 1/4A in power. Core burner would be about a 1/4A3-3 and the end burner would be about a 1/4A.3-3. (1/4 sec burn on the core burner and 2 sec on the end burner. Getting an igniter into the .017" diameter nozzle of the end burner has stumped me so far...
 

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
The concept of a 6mm reloadable motor is absurd. Enormous technical challenges would have to be overcome to create something that would do very little. No rational person would make the significant financial investment that would be needed for such a project. And even if one were to be developed, would anyone seriously pay $20-$30 for just the case and closures? The entire reason for developing a reloadable motor is to lower the costs of composite propellant motors by making the most expensive parts of the motor reusable. There would be no cost advantage to producing a tiny reloadable motor, since the cases for single use versions of them would be very inexpensive. It would make no economic sense to try to save a few cents by reusing the case. And without any economic advantage, the entire rationale for purchasing a reloadable system disappears. If any 6mm composite motor were ever developed, it would be in the single use format. It would still be very tough to create one, but from a technical standpoint, it wouldn't be completely outside the realm of possibility, I suppose. As various people have said, igniting it would perhaps be the biggest challenge, though. But I'm not so sure even that would be impossible, just extremely difficult. As for fitting enough propellant into the case to yield significant impulse, nothing says that you would have to be limited the Micromaxx's length of 1"; you could certainly make it longer. There would be absolutely no demand for such a motor, though. What niche would it fill?

A much more relevant project would be to develop a black powder Micromaxx motor with a longer delay, and possibly with a longer burn time. The current really short delay (< 1 second) was appropriate for the first generation LPBs, but for the current generation of lightweight paper and balsa micros, the very abbreviated coast time really limits their performance. As for visibility, yes, some micro rockets made with minimum diameter tubing can disappear from view in as little as 150 feet, but many lightweight, high performance models are being produced with BT-3 and even BT-4 tubing, which is much easier to track. (But one should note that the current 1/8A altitude record is something like 90 meters, or close to 300 feet. At least a couple of observers were able to track a competition model to that height, so it tracking micros beyond 200 feet can be done.)

13mm single use composite motors (again, not reloadables) would be less of a technical challenge, but even then, where would the market be? Would anyone really want to spend something like $5-$6 for a 13mm C? And, returning to the first topic above, who would pay $4 for a 6mm A? Is there such a demand for the Aerotech RMS 18/20 motor that people are clamoring for something smaller? You can purchase 13mm hardware from GMA or else make your own, but how many people are actually doing that? Especially since you need to be a member of Tripoli with at least Level 2 certification in order to have sanction to cook up your own propellants and cast your own motors.

MarkII
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington DC
Could not agree more or put it better then Marks last post! Great post Mark! Absurd is the optimal word.

Micros are just fine with the output power we have now. not to mention they are in keeping with my main goal of lowest possible price per launch.

Their is absolutely nothing that is done in model rocketry that hasn't or can't currently be done with micros with the possible exception of mile high flights... but Altitude is NOT the only reason for flying in the first place.
RC, on board electronics, Staging, clusters and yes ScrapDaddy we already have a Payload designed for our micors that boost just fine on our current BP motors.
I neither need or want AP involved with my Micro models. It's simple not a concern.
By the way, There have already been several successful 6mm AP and Sugar propellant motors experimented with over the past 4 years. But as many have already mentioned the overwelming tech glitches and Igniter Placement limitations have more or less directed those of us looking at them to conclude it's just not worth the hastle.

I'm in favor of looking at longer delay times for our current MMX-II motors i've personally had models tracked and closed over 300feet on the OLD MMX-I motors. While they had a posted 1 sec delay their actual average delay was over 1.07s allowing considerably more coast time then our current .857s delay motors. I've been experimenting with 3 and 4 sec delay upper stage times but they still require added mass or supercaps to power and ignite the upper stage or ejection.
Prehaps a bit longer motor could be designed that would help up the burn time along with extending the delays.
There are TONS of WAY more productive project available in the micro model range then trying to make a reloadable Micro.
 
Last edited:

green dragon

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2009
Messages
200
Reaction score
0
13mm single use composite motors (again, not reloadables) would be less of a technical challenge, but even then, where would the market be? Would anyone really want to spend something like $5-$6 for a 13mm C? And, returning to the first topic above, who would pay $4 for a 6mm A? Is there such a demand for the Aerotech RMS 18/20 motor that people are clamoring for something smaller? You can purchase 13mm hardware from GMA or else make your own, but how many people are actually doing that? Especially since you need to be a member of Tripoli with at least Level 2 certification in order to have sanction to cook up your own propellants and cast your own motors.

MarkII
Well, I htink there is a small market for 13mm composites, moeso then 6mm market - I fondly recall the Apogee B7 composite motors, and although pricey at 5-7.00 , they were nice for the ' had to try a few' factor :)

personally, I would LOVE to see the AT RMS18 reloads in B-C sizes return, especially the C12 and C4 reloads. but again, most persons flying would rather have single use BP at lower cost.

I do have the Green MOnkey 13 and 18mm hardware, yet to burn any - maybe this summer at a PYRO launch, come on out to one :)

~ AL
 

Micromeister

Micro Craftman/ClusterNut
TRF Lifetime Supporter
TRF Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
15,074
Reaction score
38
Location
Washington DC
We also fondly remember the Apogee 10.5mm BP, B2-7 and -9 motors as well.

the Problems with AP...is COST pre flight. At least when it comes to Model rocketry!
 

ScrapDaddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
1
Acctually it wouldnt make sence to make a C4 or A C12 as Estes makes quite a few close alternatives, the c6 and the c11 (although that is a 24mm); although it would add a verity to the limited choises we have in the 18mm reloads. But Isnt really cool to think about the miniscule chance that there could be a 6mm reload?
 

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
We could have more reload options for the RMS 18/20 motor if we would actually buy them. Aerotech did try to offer a broader range; at one time, they produced reloads ranging from B to E for it. But as Bob said, very low sales killed all except the Ds. "Very low sales" means that customers just didn't want those other reloads. The 18mm D motors, in contrast, fill an actual need, which is why they sell in enough quantities to warrant their continued production. Ask yourself: would you actually buy many 18mm composite C6s? And how many people do you suppose would build rockets to fly on 18mm composite E27s? I mean, there is a reason why you don't see many 14" long by 1" diameter MPRs. Think about it.

I'm sure that there have been people who have experimented with creating 6mm composite motors, but I doubt that their creations were capable of doing anything that black powder Micromaxx motors don't already do or couldn't be manufactured to do. When you get down to that scale, I don't think that composite propellant possesses any meaningful advantage over black powder. Current Micromaxx motors already put out a pretty impressive amount of thrust and have decent power for their size and mass. You have to pick one up and hold it in your hand to appreciate how tiny those motors really are. That they can be manufactured at all, with the same set of features and the same (or better) reliability as conventionally-sized black powder motors is truly a miracle itself, one that isn't always fully appreciated. APCP has a much higher specific impulse compared to black powder, but you have to make motors that are a bit bigger than micro-sized before it actually begins to matter.

MarkII
 

ScrapDaddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
1
Well I can see where you are going with the B and C reloads but what was the problem with the E27 reload? It really doesn't have a compeditor in the 18mm range.

Back to the 6mm reloads; what's wrong with making a 10 Inch long reload?; it would give a nice long thrust (with a debatible amount of force) and why couldn't use an end burner to solve the ignition problems?
 

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
Well I can see where you are going with the B and C reloads but what was the problem with the E27 reload? It really doesn't have a compeditor in the 18mm range.
Duplication would be my guess. Anything that was big enough to fly on an E motor was big enough to launch on a 24mm E. Therefore an E reload for the RMS 18/20 would fill exactly the same niche as the E reloads for the RMS 24/40. If the rocket required an 18mm mount because it was too small for 24mm, then it was also too small for an E motor. I'm sure that there were exceptions, but probably far too few to justify the expense of producing 18mm E reloads.

Are you unable to understand the fact that a company will do nothing but lose money on a product like that if it only sells a half dozen of them over the course of a year? It costs a company significant money to produce such an item; the company has to be able to sell enough of that product to make that money back, along with a little bit of profit. If it can't sell enough of them, it will stop producing them. People didn't buy the 18mm E reload; that's why Aerotech stopped making it.

Back to the 6mm reloads; what's wrong with making a 10 Inch long reload?; it would give a nice long thrust (with a debatible amount of force) and why couldn't use an end burner to solve the ignition problems?
I can guess why no motor manufacturers have made them; any EXers who might be reading this could also give you their reasons for not having done so, too.

MarkII
 

MarkII

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
8,212
Reaction score
9
Sooo 6mm reloads are not coming soon :eyepop:
I think that it is far more likely that we will continue to see further development in the larger diameters, especially 24mm and 29mm. This is where the advantages of APCP really begin to shine, and where one can really start to see savings from using reloadable motors.

MarkII
 

dwinings

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
I still have one or two 10mm composites (A's) that were made for the US Team at one time, but they're not commercially practical, neither would 6mm ones.

Dan
 

The EGE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Messages
535
Reaction score
0
Last edited:

ScrapDaddy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2010
Messages
2,081
Reaction score
1
wait till you use some motors that were made in china.......:dark:
 

Shade

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
763
Reaction score
0
3) Hardware would be really really expensive to machine in such a tiny size at low production volumes. And it'd be so thin that it'd be easy to break.
First I will not or cannot discuss any of your other points, however,
machining reusable casings would not be a barrier. The majority of
the cost of the current reloadable casing is more attributed to the
anodizing and not the machining. 6mm casings are anything but tiny
by machining standards. There are common CNC machine tools
(Swiss style machines) that 6mm diameters would be considered large.
 
Last edited:

The EGE

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Messages
535
Reaction score
0
First I will not or cannot discuss any of your other points, however,
machining reusable casings would not be a barrier. The majority of
the cost of the current reloadable casing is more attributed to the
anodizing and not the machining. 6mm casings are anything but tiny
by machining standards. There are common CNC machine tools
(Swiss style machines) that 6mm diameters would be considered large.
Huh... Things I never knew...
 

jj94

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
3,980
Reaction score
0
You could do reloadable 6mm motors just for fun, but I highly doubt seeing it in retail markets. I've seen a website that had a page dedicated to 6mm reloadables. I forgot the website though, because it's been such a long time since I looked at it. I remember the URL having "scott" in it (I think...). I know the website had some stuff with high altitude balloons too.
 

dwinings

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
98
Reaction score
0
Many FAI folks in Europe use the Czech Delta motors; they're 10.2mm x 34mm A2-7 motors: http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/redglare/lili.jpg

Lots of information on all sorts of wild and weird European motors on that page:

http://www.cyber-heritage.co.uk/redglare/
I have some of those Czech motors too, but I'm talking about 10mm composites with Aerotech grains and of American manufacture, made the same way as Aerotech composites of the time, with graphite nozzles. One of them included a 13mm composite C I flew in a 13mm Sandhawk for Scale Altitude.

Dan
 
Top