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Incongruent

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So, as you may have noticed, I've been kind of obsessed with the Nike Smoke recently. I was wondering if it would be allowed, if proper safety precautions are followed, to launch a (problably around 1/3) scale near minimum diameter Nike Smoke (at a research launch, far away from civilization) with Titanium Tetrachloride and the release mechanism. Of course, the rocket will be tested first with a safe liquid that has similar density and viscosity, to ensure proper function.

This isn't something I'll do soon, if I do it. Probably a few years at least... Once I'm 18+. Need high power certification, experience, planning, a few thousand dollars probably...


Brainstorming, advice, etc. is welcome.
 

Incongruent

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I'll explain the mechanicsm... The drawings by Mr. Stine have it drawn out.

Air enters thriugh the check valve that follows the inlet at the front, pressurizes the container slightly but that's not relevant, the check valve prevents the liquid from flowing out the front when the container accelerates and the liquid is pushed back, inertia. (the inlet leads to the bottom of the Titanium Tetrachloride tank) When the motor burns out, the liquid (through inertia once again) flies to the front of the tank, where there is the pipe that leads to a nozzle pointing backwards. The check valve opens now, since the flow is from the front to the back, and allows the liquid to move forward. The Titanium Tetrachloride then sprays out and reacts with the water in the air.

In three of the Nike Smoke launches, a separate tank with water was used to enhance the smoking, which used a program and compressed air to force the water, acetone, or acetic acid out when the rocket flew into the region of the atmosphere 12-18 km in altitude that contained less humidity. (The Smoke flew from 1 to 23 km.) The Acetone and Acetic acid had no improvements in Smoke density compared to the water.

NASA also took measurements on the Scout and Little Joe rocket's exhaust trails.


But chances are, you already know this stuff.
 
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OverTheTop

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Keep the TiCl4 away from any of your tools, unless you like them rusty. For that matter, away from anything you don't want rusty. Don't need much to cause severe corrosion...
 
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Incongruent

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Agreed. It's also a good idea to keep it away from skin, eyes, mouth, nose, and especially respiratory tract because... corrosion and death.


PVC *should* be resistant, in the form of vinyl tubing.
Maybe a teflon or teflon coated tank.
A metal nozzle, I don't know what metal though.

Information on the inevitable corrosion by HCl is more available than direct corrosion by TiCl4.

What's going to happen to the side of the nose cone?
 

Incongruent

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Titanium Tetrachloride is rated at a 2 for reactivity (Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water (e.g. white phosphorus, potassium, sodium)), 0 for flammability (Materials that will not burn under typical fire conditions (e.g. Carbon tetrachloride), including intrinsically noncombustible materials such as concrete, stone and sand (Materials that will not burn in air when exposed to a temperature of 820 °C (1,500 °F) for a period of 5 minutes)), and 3 for health (Short exposure could cause serious, temporary or moderate residual injury (e.g. liquid hydrogen, carbon monoxide)). It is also rated as "Reacts with water in an unusual or dangerous manner (e.g. caesium, sodium, sulfuric acid)."

~From the Internet



The NAR low power code says "No flammable or explosive payloads". This is open to interpretation, Tickle (TiCl4; Ti+Cl sounds like Tickle... hee hee) is not flammable, nor explosive (explosive defined as capable of detonating), rather it reacts with water producing Titanium Dioxide and Hydrochloric Acid. It reacts on contact, since water is needed in the reaction, rather than as an initiator. However, in terms of skating on the edge with technicalities, not gonna risk it. I don't think the high power code mentions use of flammable or explosive payloads.

The Tripoli High Power Safety code says no payloads intended to be flammable or explosive.
This works, I don't intend for the Nike Smoke to blow up or burn.

In any case, I'm mostly concerned with the health issues concerning Tickle, since it reacts... unpleasantly with living things. If I ever do launch it, I'll have to find a way to get it to the launch site safely and into the rocket safely.

No or minimal release can happen on the ground, in addition to safety gear. I think it could work if an amount of Titanium Tetrachloride less than the capacity of the rocket was sealed in a container with 2 valves with a lead pipe each. The rocket set on its side with the spigot facing upwards and the Tickle container is raised above it, then the Tickle discharge is linked to the 'fill port' (on the actual Nike Smoke) while the spigot with the nozzle is attached to the second port of the filling tank. The air intake is plugged or capped off for the time being. This creates a sealed system where Tickle will drain completely from the original container to the rocket. Then, standing upwind and in protective gear, the spigot tube is replaced with a plug and the Tickle discharge pipe is disconnected from the fill port (which is also above the tickle's surface level, and protected from leakage by 2 check valves) and a small machined stainless steel plate with a rubber stopper with a shoulder and sized to seal the fill port and lie flush with the surface attached to it. The stainless steel plate is screwed onto the nose cone, which should prevent any leakage during the boost. The release pipe and intake are still sealed. At this point, the rocket is ready for flight... oh wait. Range Safety Officer.
So we find a way to get past them...

Kidding. Only to be launched in the outskirts of civilization at a research launch. Away pads...
At the launch pad, a wire cable is attached to an eyelet on the spigot plug, and pulled taut enough that the rocket will pull it off when it launches but not so taut as to get pulled off when the rocket rotates in the wind. The intake plug is removed. When the rocket launches, it pulls out the spigot plug, then leaves the launch rail (so not much effect on direction.) Then it performs like a real Nike Smoke. Etc.

After recovery (still need to work recovery out since this is a problably going to be a near minimum diameter and also short rocket) a recovery crew consisting of me and some other stupid or brave people park unwind of the rocket. Brought out is a large container of a water and baking sofa (neutralizing) solution probably around 2-3 times what the tank capacity is. After suiting up, all but one person go out (the first stays in the truck) and hook up the tank, which is connected to a pump, which has a tube leading out, to the air intake pipe on the rocket. The nose cone is placed on a stand which is secured to the earth with tent pegs and secured down. Then the bicarbonate solution is pumped slowly into the tank, reacting the Titanium Tetrachloride and neutralizing the HCl produced by the reaction. The tank is run to 1/4 full, at which point there should be minimal Tickle or HCl left in the tank. The rest of the rocket is then hosed down, especially on the side where the tank vents, the fins, and the nose cone. A cloth saturated in the solution is also used to wipe the tube and rear of the rocket. The chutes are disconnected and put in sealed containers; they shouldn't have Tickle on them but just in case some Tickle vented during recovery...

I know you're thinking "this is going overboard with safety" You're problably right. That's why I came up with a "oh shoot the wind is blowing our way" plan. One person on the outside of the truck has an extra car key. If such an event happens, he honks the horn of the car, alerting the driver to drive off. The tubing disconnects. The people outside are wearing protective apparel, so they'll step way back and wait. This is because HCl and trucks are generally not comparable.
Also, I'd rather be overly cautious and ridiculed than underly cautious and responsible... for someone's livelihood.

Beforhand, tests with inert fluid will have to be done to determine whether the Tickle will drain completely during the coasting phase. A camera will be mounted above the spigot. Unfortunately, this means I'll have to buy 2 giant motors... How many people would support a kickstarter for this...?


Also note, this is just speculation. I'm writing it down here to remember and also, I'll problably come back and read this again and think: "That'll actually work... In getting me arrested..."



Also please point out flaws in my plan because there are almost definitely some.

-Tony
 

Incongruent

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HDPE or LDPE should work for the container.

Not sure which is better for this, HDPE is stiffer and LDPE is more flexible, stiffness could result in landing damage but flexability isn't perfect either, with decreased strength.
 
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dhbarr

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What are the long-term effects on the land of a TiCl4 spill? Let it drop and hope the rain gets it, or is there a better protection plan?
 

rharshberger

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Titanium Tetrachloride is rated at a 2 for reactivity (Undergoes violent chemical change at elevated temperatures and pressures, reacts violently with water, or may form explosive mixtures with water (e.g. white phosphorus, potassium, sodium)), 0 for flammability (Materials that will not burn under typical fire conditions (e.g. Carbon tetrachloride), including intrinsically noncombustible materials such as concrete, stone and sand (Materials that will not burn in air when exposed to a temperature of 820 °C (1,500 °F) for a period of 5 minutes)), and 3 for health (Short exposure could cause serious, temporary or moderate residual injury (e.g. liquid hydrogen, carbon monoxide)). It is also rated as "Reacts with water in an unusual or dangerous manner (e.g. caesium, sodium, sulfuric acid)."

~From the Internet



The NAR low power code says "No flammable or explosive payloads". This is open to interpretation, Tickle (TiCl4; Ti+Cl sounds like Tickle... hee hee) is not flammable, nor explosive (explosive defined as capable of detonating), rather it reacts with water producing Titanium Dioxide and Hydrochloric Acid. It reacts on contact, since water is needed in the reaction, rather than as an initiator. However, in terms of skating on the edge with technicalities, not gonna risk it. I don't think the high power code mentions use of flammable or explosive payloads.

The Tripoli High Power Safety code says no payloads intended to be flammable or explosive.
This works, I don't intend for the Nike Smoke to blow up or burn.

In any case, I'm mostly concerned with the health issues concerning Tickle, since it reacts... unpleasantly with living things. If I ever do launch it, I'll have to find a way to get it to the launch site safely and into the rocket safely.

No or minimal release can happen on the ground, in addition to safety gear. I think it could work if an amount of Titanium Tetrachloride less than the capacity of the rocket was sealed in a container with 2 valves with a lead pipe each. The rocket set on its side with the spigot facing upwards and the Tickle container is raised above it, then the Tickle discharge is linked to the 'fill port' (on the actual Nike Smoke) while the spigot with the nozzle is attached to the second port of the filling tank. The air intake is plugged or capped off for the time being. This creates a sealed system where Tickle will drain completely from the original container to the rocket. Then, standing upwind and in protective gear, the spigot tube is replaced with a plug and the Tickle discharge pipe is disconnected from the fill port (which is also above the tickle's surface level, and protected from leakage by 2 check valves) and a small machined stainless steel plate with a rubber stopper with a shoulder and sized to seal the fill port and lie flush with the surface attached to it. The stainless steel plate is screwed onto the nose cone, which should prevent any leakage during the boost. The release pipe and intake are still sealed. At this point, the rocket is ready for flight... oh wait. Range Safety Officer.
So we find a way to get past them...

Kidding. Only to be launched in the outskirts of civilization at a research launch. Away pads...
At the launch pad, a wire cable is attached to an eyelet on the spigot plug, and pulled taut enough that the rocket will pull it off when it launches but not so taut as to get pulled off when the rocket rotates in the wind. The intake plug is removed. When the rocket launches, it pulls out the spigot plug, then leaves the launch rail (so not much effect on direction.) Then it performs like a real Nike Smoke. Etc.

After recovery (still need to work recovery out since this is a problably going to be a near minimum diameter and also short rocket) a recovery crew consisting of me and some other stupid or brave people park unwind of the rocket. Brought out is a large container of a water and baking sofa (neutralizing) solution probably around 2-3 times what the tank capacity is. After suiting up, all but one person go out (the first stays in the truck) and hook up the tank, which is connected to a pump, which has a tube leading out, to the air intake pipe on the rocket. The nose cone is placed on a stand which is secured to the earth with tent pegs and secured down. Then the bicarbonate solution is pumped slowly into the tank, reacting the Titanium Tetrachloride and neutralizing the HCl produced by the reaction. The tank is run to 1/4 full, at which point there should be minimal Tickle or HCl left in the tank. The rest of the rocket is then hosed down, especially on the side where the tank vents, the fins, and the nose cone. A cloth saturated in the solution is also used to wipe the tube and rear of the rocket. The chutes are disconnected and put in sealed containers; they shouldn't have Tickle on them but just in case some Tickle vented during recovery...

I know you're thinking "this is going overboard with safety" You're problably right. That's why I came up with a "oh shoot the wind is blowing our way" plan. One person on the outside of the truck has an extra car key. If such an event happens, he honks the horn of the car, alerting the driver to drive off. The tubing disconnects. The people outside are wearing protective apparel, so they'll step way back and wait. This is because HCl and trucks are generally not comparable.
Also, I'd rather be overly cautious and ridiculed than underly cautious and responsible... for someone's livelihood.

Beforhand, tests with inert fluid will have to be done to determine whether the Tickle will drain completely during the coasting phase. A camera will be mounted above the spigot. Unfortunately, this means I'll have to buy 2 giant motors... How many people would support a kickstarter for this...?


Also note, this is just speculation. I'm writing it down here to remember and also, I'll problably come back and read this again and think: "That'll actually work... In getting me arrested..."



Also please point out flaws in my plan because there are almost definitely some.

-Tony
You forgot the most important Regulatory document of them all, NFPA 1127 specifically Annex B paragraph 9 (iirc of course). I read somewhere (not NFPA 1127) that a release of more than 1 pound of Titanium Tetrachloride into the environment requires notification to the EPA.
 
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Incongruent

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You forgot the most important Regulatory document of them all, NFPA 1127 specifically Annex B paragraph 9 (iirc of course). I read somewhere (not NFPA 1127) that a release of more than 1 pound of Titanium Tetrachloride into the environment requires notification to the EPA.
Thanks for informing me of that. I'll see if I can find where and read up about the restrictions using TiCl4.
 

Incongruent

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You might also want to check your wallet. It runs about $55 for 100mL in reagent grade.
Does it have to be reagent grade? 99% should be good enough for this, 2 kilos or a bit over a liter is under $40, and if bought in bulk, possibly even lower.

The reaction isn't meant to be precise; trace metal impurities should be ok, but I'll definitely have to do more research and contact the EPA before buying or using any.
 

Incongruent

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What are the long-term effects on the land of a TiCl4 spill? Let it drop and hope the rain gets it, or is there a better protection plan?
Because of the reactivity to water, TiCl4 is problably unlikely to damage ecosystems through runoff or similar means. There is no data in environmental concerns in all of the MSDSs I've read so far, so I'll have to keep looking. Since it'll react to atmospheric humidity, it should slowly decompose by itself, but it's problably a good practice to use the bicarbonate solution. How much can be added at once I don't know yet, since too much and it'll react violently possibly fling TiCl4 out. TiCl4 is denser and less viscous than water (~1.73g/cm, ~0.82 cP)

The MSDS recommends soaking it up with sand and disposing it in the proper waste receptacle. It should be possibly to react and neutralize it in a safe and controlled manner, but again, more research is needed. The MSDS is intended for in laboratories, so the HCl by product might be the reason one shouldn't react it off.
 

Incongruent

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I think I'll convert the 1/10 Estes model first. Under 40ml of TiCl4 and running on an H550. It'll fit with the recovery system. Should be easier to track up with the stuff spraying out, and I'll replace the thin wall 41.6mm tube with the thicker kind.

Maybe I could use it for junior level 1; but with an inert liquid in the dispenser. Real TiCl4 at research launches only.
Who knows, I might find a safe substitute that I'm satisfied with.

The liquid coming out should produce a notable amount of thrust, plus the weight will be decreasing. That'll affect the altitude and the delay needed.

The rocket will will be going past Mach 1, so it'll problably not go that high both because drag and the fins might fall off. Gotta get accustomed to techniques before attempting.

I'll run simulations sometime soon.

Tell me if you see any problems.


(Problem) Dang it! Wrong units. Well, depending on surface finish, it may exceed a mile. Knew something was wrong.
 
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Incongruent

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Perhaps this statement indicates a path towards electronic deployment?
I should be able to sim it as a custom motor. Mass decreases at a mostly constant rate that I can figure out by looking at when looking at the motor file or sim file for deceleration; when it decelerates, the liquid is pushed forward by its inertia. Thrust can be figured out by looking at the amount of liquid (mass) and the velocity it gets forced out by, so that's nozzle aperture and liquid amount.

I do want an altimeter, but the recovery stuff has to fit into an approximately 4 cm by 5 cm cylinder. The altimeter will problably have to go into the nose cone, as well as some of the recovery.

For the small 1/10 rocket I'll use a 50ml HDPE bottle with the screw cap at the base of the nose cone. Ease of loading and cleaning. Plus cheaper than custom fabrication.
 

Incongruent

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Does Openrocket allow custom motors and factor in changing mass?
 

Incongruent

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Well, apparently HDPE is not resistant to Titanium Tetrachloride. Teflon, Viton, and PVDF (Carbon filled) will work though.

Oh, the complications of the simple phrase "multi use"

Edit: HDPE is not very resistant (limited), there will be some damages but if I make the container removable, it could work.
 
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Cl(VII)

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I have used a lot of TiCl4 over the years for legitimate purposes, and I can say from experience with the substance that what you are planning is at best, unadvisable. If everything works PERFECTLY you will be left with a NC containing some nasty residue that will be difficult to dispose of. However, if anything goes wrong you will have an entire spectrum of calamity available to you and anyone around. For instance, your rocket clears the tower and the motor CATOs, which happened to me with a Nike Smoke, then you need to put out the burning rocket laying on the ground. Well, that water fire extinguisher isn't going to work out so well...NC go boom and Tickle(IV) goes everywhere. I could lay out plenty of other what ifs, but from someone who makes a living doing chemistry please believe me when I say that reactive chemicals need to be respected or they will bite, and it will hurt...if you are lucky. I am a highly trained, experienced chemist with very good technique, and I get a new chemical burn or scar every couple years.

If you want a Nike Smoke that smokes, then get a cold smoke canister from a paintball supplier and figure out how to mount that in a NC.

Lastly, if you show up at a launch I am at with TiCl(VI) in your rocket I will see that you don't fly it if I have to spend all day as RSO. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but the chance for someone to get hurt with your plan is WAY too high.
 

Incongruent

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I have used a lot of TiCl4 over the years for legitimate purposes, and I can say from experience with the substance that what you are planning is at best, unadvisable. If everything works PERFECTLY you will be left with a NC containing some nasty residue that will be difficult to dispose of. However, if anything goes wrong you will have an entire spectrum of calamity available to you and anyone around. For instance, your rocket clears the tower and the motor CATOs, which happened to me with a Nike Smoke, then you need to put out the burning rocket laying on the ground. Well, that water fire extinguisher isn't going to work out so well...NC go boom and Tickle(IV) goes everywhere. I could lay out plenty of other what ifs, but from someone who makes a living doing chemistry please believe me when I say that reactive chemicals need to be respected or they will bite, and it will hurt...if you are lucky. I am a highly trained, experienced chemist with very good technique, and I get a new chemical burn or scar every couple years.

If you want a Nike Smoke that smokes, then get a cold smoke canister from a paintball supplier and figure out how to mount that in a NC.

Lastly, if you show up at a launch I am at with TiCl(VI) in your rocket I will see that you don't fly it if I have to spend all day as RSO. I'm not trying to be a jerk, but the chance for someone to get hurt with your plan is WAY too high.
Thanks for the warning and advice. I agree.
Sometimes I get my head lost in the clouds (of preferably not Titanium dioxide and Hydrochloric acid) and need to be brought back to reality.
I don't think you're being a jerk. You're helping me stay safe.

Thanks again,
Tony
 

Cl(VII)

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Thanks for the warning and advice. I agree.
Sometimes I get my head lost in the clouds (of preferably not Titanium dioxide and Hydrochloric acid) and need to be brought back to reality.
I don't think you're being a jerk. You're helping me stay safe.

Thanks again,
Tony
I am glad you took it how I meant it. That said some kind of cold smoke thing would be really cool.

Chris
 

OverTheTop

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It is always nice to think about what can be done. Sometimes practicalities get in the way, or there is a more modern way of achieving the same goal.

I look forward to seeing the flight.
 

Incongruent

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I am glad you took it how I meant it. That said some kind of cold smoke thing would be really cool.

Chris
On the bright side, the nose cone can be used for an altimeter, since there won't be a vat of TiCl4 in it.

My thoughts on the 1/10 scale Smoke are to have either a 24mm mount surrounded by 6-7mm tubes which can be filled with something that smokes with increased airflow (vents into the rocket) like incense or something (probably a rolled up paper tube) and can be lit a short time before launch or 2x 18mm mounts and 2x 13mm mounts with either some kind of pyrotechnic smoke mixture (know a few people...) or the same system as mentioned before.

[HR][/HR]
Smoky thing

The upsides:
Not too dangerous (depends on flowing air to burn well)
More smoke per volume, no oxidizer needed
Can be used with a single motor.
longer burn time

The downsides:
Probably won't work.
Drag and engineering problems from air intakes
Could keep smoking through recovery and start fire
Smoke color fixed


[HR][/HR]
Pyrotechnics

The upsides:
Will probably work (that's always helpful)
Burns out after known time
Can be colored

The downsides:
Extra danger, research (No nozzle needed unless using coloured smoke, I think, so safer than another motor, I think.)
Less smoke per volume (oxidizer)
Cluster
shorter burn time


[HR][/HR]
Well, it seems like neither choice is that good...
Oh well, I'll probably get the PSII Smoke and make it 38mm mount with commercially made cold smoke... build my 1/10 (mostly) stock. (usual upgrades)


[HR][/HR]
Fun Fact: On the real Nike Smoke, colored Smoke by pyrotechnic means was considered for visibility but in the end, TiCl4 was used for it's higher Smoke/weight. Consequentially, the Nike Smoke couldn't be fired in hazy or foggy conditions, with the white Smoke not being visible, so it is possible that the data on the wind is inconsistent or biased.
 
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