Burning Rates and Thermal Behavior of Bistetrazole Containing Gun Propellants


  1. Lavoie, J.
  2. Petre, C-F.
  3. Paradis, P-Y.
  4. Dubois, C.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Valcartier Research Centre, Quebec QC (CAN)
The influence of two selected bistetrazoles, 5,5’-bis-(1H-tetrazolyl)-amine (BTA) and 5,5’-hydrazinebistetrazole (HBT), on the combustion behaviour of a typical triple-base propellant was investigated. Seven propellant formulations, one reference and six others incorporating respectively, 5%, 15% and 25% of either HBT or BTA compounds were mixed and extruded into a cylindrical, no perforations, geometry. The resulting propellants showed high burning rates, up to 93% higher than the reference formulation at 100 MPa. However, the increase in burning rates came at the cost of higher burning rate dependency on pressure, with a pressure exponent as high as 1.4 for certain formulations. HBT-containing propellants showed notably lower flame temperature when compared to the reference formulation, with a flame temperature reduction of up to 461 K for the propellant containing 25% HBT. The thermal behaviour of the propellants was also investigated through DSC experiments. The addition of bistetrazoles provided lower decomposition temperatures than the pure nitrogen-rich materials, indicating that the two compounds probably react readily with the –ONO2 groups present in the nitrocellulose and the plasticizers used in the formulation. The onset temperature of all propellants remained within acceptable ranges despite the observed decrease caused by the addition of the bistetrazole compounds.
Bistetrazole;Burning Rate;High Nitrogen;Nitrogen Rich;Propellant
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-P012 — External Literature
Date of publication
01 Feb 2018
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Propellants, Explosive, Pyrotechnics, Wiley online library, 2017, no 42, p. 149 157
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