I'm building a model rocket, and I'm trying to find a good fuel. I've done a lot of research and I know about r-candy and the aluminum-ammonium fuel, but I was wondering, before I made any of these, if I could use All-Purpose Flour instead. From what I've seen, it is highly combustible, and I think it would do a good job. However, it appears to burn slower than r-candy. Would it still burn fast enough to get a rocket launched? I also noticed that it doesn't pack easily, and I'm looking to make a solid rocket motor. Could I use water to pack it into the motor tube, then leave it to dry for a few days? Or could I pack it some other way?

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Dust explosions, whether of flour, lycopodium spores or the stuff in hyperbaric explosives, can be very powerful. But bulk flour burns poorly: make a small pile and put a match to it. Not much happens. So you would need continual dust explosions to do the job and the developmental work would likely be substantial, at best. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Mar 16 at 23:36
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ With a nuclear explosion, maybe a steel manhole cover could be blasted into space: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Plumbbob. Or maybe not! ;-) $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Mar 16 at 23:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is a great book, by John D. Clark, for anyone interested in rocket fuels: Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, Rutgers University Press Classics, New Brunswick, NJ, ©1972 and 2017. $\endgroup$
    – Ed V
    Mar 17 at 0:15
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Make some tests. It should be the exciting part. That packing seems complicated as you will end with something more solid then pressed grains and removal of water will be hard to achieve. $\endgroup$
    – Alchimista
    Mar 17 at 10:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The problem is that once it’s packed, you don’t have an oxidant. Solid rocket fuels contain fuel and oxidant, for example a nitrate, in order to get rapid combustion. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew
    Mar 17 at 10:54

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.