The combustion process is an exothermic chemical reaction of a fuel with an oxidizer. In the context of combustion cannons and hybrids, this refers to the reaction of a hydrocarbon fuel (usually propane) with atmospheric oxygen (the oxidizer), producing carbon dioxide, water, and heat. The heat produces pressure that propels the projectile out the barrel.
This burning takes place in a "flame front", typically a spherical or domed shaped region that spreads outwards from the ignition source. It is generally believed that the faster the flame front moves the better a combustion spudgun will perform. Techniques used by some to encourage the rapid spread of this flame front include:
- Multiple ignition points to produce multiple flame fronts. This is usually accomplished via multiple spark gaps, or perhaps by use of a spark strip.
- Inducing turbulence in the gases through which the flame front is moving. This is usually accomplished via a chamber fan.
Tools and Information on the combustion process can be found at these links:
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