propellant


propellant
/preuh pel"euhnt/, n.
1. a propelling agent.
2. the charge of explosive used to propel the projectile from a gun.
3. a substance, usually a mixture of fuel and oxidizer, for propelling a rocket.
4. a compressed inert gas that serves to dispense the contents of an aerosol container when the pressure is released.
[1915-20; PROPEL + -ANT]

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      any gas, liquid, or solid the expansion of which can be used to impart motion to another substance or object. In aerosol (aerosol container) dispensers, compressed gases such as nitrous oxide, carbon dioxide, and many halogenated hydrocarbons (halocarbon) are used as propellants. The propellant may remain in gaseous form (nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide), or it may liquefy under pressure. Food (food processing) products, such as artificial whipped cream, are propelled by nitrous oxide or carbon dioxide; nonfood products, such as cosmetics, insecticides, paints, and pharmaceuticals, formerly were dispensed with the aid of fluorinated hydrocarbons. Because of the threat believed to be posed to the Earth's ozone layer by halogenated propellants, they have been banned in many countries except for essential uses such as some drugs, pesticides, lubricants, and cleaners for electrical or electronic equipment. (See also aerosol container.)

      Solid and liquid propellants are substances that undergo rapid combustion, producing gaseous products. black powder was used as a propellant in guns and rockets (rocket) until the 20th century, when double-base gunpowder (40 percent nitroglycerin, 60 percent nitrocellulose) came into use. Other modern solid propellants are cast perchlorate (using perchlorate as oxidizer and various oils or rubbers as fuel) and composite propellants (using a plastic binder with ammonium picrate, potassium nitrate, or sodium nitrate). There are various liquid rocket propellants: monopropellants, such as nitromethane, which contain both oxidizer and fuel and are ignited by some external means; bipropellants, consisting of an oxidizer such as liquid oxygen and a fuel such as liquid hydrogen, which are injected into a combustion chamber from separate containers; and multipropellants, consisting of several oxidizers and fuels.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • propellant — propellant, propellent The noun propellant, meaning ‘a thing that propels’ (especially a rocket fuel or the agent in aerosol sprays), is the more familiar word. Propellent is an adjective meaning ‘capable of driving or pushing forward’ …   Modern English usage

  • propellant — index impetus Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • propellant — fuel for a rocket engine, 1919, from PROPEL (Cf. propel) + ANT (Cf. ant) …   Etymology dictionary

  • propellant — ► NOUN 1) a compressed fluid in which the active contents of an aerosol are dispersed. 2) an explosive that fires bullets from a firearm. 3) a substance used to provide thrust in a rocket engine. ► ADJECTIVE (also propellent) ▪ capable of… …   English terms dictionary

  • propellant — [prə pel′ənt, prōpel′ənt] n. a person or thing that propels; specif., a) the explosive charge that propels a projectile from a gun ☆ b) the fuel and oxidizer used to propel a rocket …   English World dictionary

  • Propellant — A propellant is a material that is used to move ( propel ) an object. This will often involve a chemical reaction. It may be a gas, liquid, plasma, or, before the chemical reaction, a solid.Common chemical propellants consist of a fuel, like… …   Wikipedia

  • propellant — [[t]prəpe̱lənt[/t]] propellants 1) N MASS Propellant is a substance that causes something to move forwards. ...an enormous amount of propellant. ...a propellant for nuclear rockets. 2) N MASS Propellant is a gas that is used in spray cans to… …   English dictionary

  • propellant — UK [prəˈpelənt] / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms propellant : singular propellant plural propellants 1) a substance used for making something move forwards, for example fuel for sending a rocket into space 2) a gas used for forcing a… …   English dictionary

  • propellant — raketinis kuras statusas T sritis chemija apibrėžtis Raketiniuose varikliuose naudojamas medžiagų mišinys. atitikmenys: angl. propellant; rocket propellant rus. ракетное топливо …   Chemijos terminų aiškinamasis žodynas

  • propellant — pro|pel|lant [prəˈpelənt] n [U and C] 1.) an explosive for firing a bullet or ↑rocket 2.) gas which is used in an ↑aerosol to ↑spray out a liquid >propellant adj …   Dictionary of contemporary English


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