Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry
ISSN (Print): 2373-3403 ISSN (Online): 2373-3411 Website: Editor-in-chief: Martin Alberto Masuelli
Open Access
Journal Browser
Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry. 2014, 2(4), 78-83
DOI: 10.12691/jpbpc-2-4-4
Open AccessReview Article

Review on the Fundamentals of Polymer Combustion and Flammability Characteristics for Hybrid Propulsion

Junjie Chen1, and Xuhui Gao1

1School of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo, China

Pub. Date: November 26, 2014

Cite this paper:
Junjie Chen and Xuhui Gao. Review on the Fundamentals of Polymer Combustion and Flammability Characteristics for Hybrid Propulsion. Journal of Polymer and Biopolymer Physics Chemistry. 2014; 2(4):78-83. doi: 10.12691/jpbpc-2-4-4


Hybrid Propulsion is an attractive alternative to conventional liquid and solid rocket engines. This is an active area of research and technological developments. The potential wide application of the hybrid engines opens the possibility for safer and more flexible space vehicle launching and manoeuvring. The fundamental combustion issues related to further development of hybrid rockets are discussed in the present paper. The emphasis is made on the properties of the potential polymeric fuels and their modification. The fundamentals of polymeric fuel combustion and the flammability Characteristics are discussed.

Polymer Combustion Flammability Characteristics Hybrid Propulsion polymeric fuels Combustion Characteristics

Creative CommonsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit


[1]  Chiaverini, M.J. and Kuo, K.K., Fundamentals of Hybrid Rocket Combustion and Propulsion (Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics), AIAA: Reston, VA, USA, 2007, 44-48.
[2]  Novozhilov, V., Joseph, P., Ishiko, K., Shimada, T., Wang, H. and Liu J., “Polymer Combustion as a Basis for Hybrid Propulsion: A Comprehensive Review and New Numerical Approaches,” energies, 4, 1779-1839, 2011.
[3]  Cullis, C.F. and Hirschler, M.M., The Combustion of Organic Polymers, Clarendon Press: Oxford, UK, 1981, 442-458.
[4]  Joseph, P. and Ebdon, J.R., Recent developments in flame-retarding thermoplastics and thermosets. In Fire Retardant Materials, Horrocks, A.R., Price, D., Eds., Woodhead Publishing Limited: Cambridge, UK, 2000, 220-263.
[5]  Arnold, C., Jr., “Stability of high temperature polymers,” Journal of Polymer Science: Macromolecular Reviews, 14, 265-378, 1979.
[6]  Martel, B., “Charring process in thermoplastic polymers: Effect of condensed phase oxidation on the formation of chars in pure polymers,” Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 35, 1213-1226, 1988.
[7]  Novozhilov, V., “Computational Fluid Dynamics Modelling of Compartment Fires,” Progress in Energy and Combustion Science, 27 (6), 611-666, 2001
[8]  Karpov A.I., Bulgakov V.K. and Novozhilov V.B., “Quantitative Estimation of Relationship between the State with Minimal Entropy Production and the Actual Stationary Regime of Flame Propagation,” Journal of Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics, 28 (3), 193-205, 2003.
[9]  Schartel, B., Bartholmai, M. and Knoll, U., “Some comments on the use of cone calorimetric data,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 88, 540-547, 2005.
[10]  De Ris, J.L. and Khan, M.M., “A sample holder for determining material properties,” Fire and Materials, 24, 219-226, 2000.
[11]  Lyon, R.E. and Walters, R.N., “Pyrolysis combustion flow calorimetry,” Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 71, 27-46, 2004.
[12]  Cogen, J.M., Lin, T.S. and Lyon, R.E., “Correlations between pyrolysis flow combustion calorimetry and conventional flammability tests with halogen-free flame retardant polyolefin compounds,” Fire and Materials, 33, 33-50, 2009.
[13]  Coombe, H.S. and Nieh, S., “Polymer membrane air separation performance for portable oxygen enriched combustion applications,” Energy Conversion and Management, 48 (5), 1499-1505, 2007.
[14]  Sonnier, R., Otazaghine, B., Ferry, L., JLopez-Cuesta, M., “Study of combustion efficiency of polymers using a pyrolysis combustion flow calorimeter,” Combustion and Flame, 160 (10), 2183-2193, 2013.
[15]  Schartel, B., Pawlowski, K.H., Lyon, R.E., “Pyrolysis-combustion flow calorimeter: a tool to assess flame retarded PC/ABS materials,” Thermochimica Acta, 462 (1-2), 1-14, 2007.
[16]  Lyon, R.E. and Walters, R.N., “Pyrolysis combustion flow calorimetry,” Journal of Analytical and Applied Pyrolysis, 71 (1), 27-46, 2004.
[17]  Paul, D.R. and Robenson, L.M., “Polymer nanotechnology: nanocomposites,” Polymer, 49 (15), pp. 3187-3204, 2008.
[18]  Zanetti, M. and Costa, L., “Preparation and combustion behaviour of polymer/layered silicate nanocomposites based upon PE and EVA,” Polymer, 45 (13), 4367-4373, 2004.
[19]  Kiliaris, P. and Papaspyrides, C.D., “Polymer/layered silicate (clay) nanocomposites: an overview of flame retardancy,” Progress in Polymer Science, 35 (7), 902-958, 2010.
[20]  Bellucci, F., Camino, G., Frache, A., Sarra, A., “Catalytic charring and volatilization competition in organoclay nanocomposites,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 92 (3), 425-436, 2007.
[21]  Fina, A., Cuttica, F., Camino, G., “Ignition of polypropylene/ montmorillonite nanocomposites,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 97 (12), 2619-2626, 2012.
[22]  Sonobe, T. and Worasuwannarak, N., “Kinetic analyses of biomass pyrolysis using the distributed activation energy model,” Fuel, 87 (3), 414-421, 2008.
[23]  Gerard, C., Fontaine, G., Bellayer, S., Bourbigot, S., “Reaction to fire of an intumescent epoxy resin: protection mechanisms and synergy,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 97 (8), 1366-1386, 2012.
[24]  Franchini, E., Galy, J., Gerard, J.F., Tabuani, D., Medici, A., “Influence of POSS structure on the fire retardant properties of epoxy hybrid networks,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 94 (10), 1728-1736, 2009.
[25]  Novozhilov, V., “Non-Linear Dynamical Model of Compartment Fire Flashover,” Journal of Engineering Mathematics, 67 (4), 387-400, 2010
[26]  Ebdon, J.R., Guisti, L., Hunt, B.J. and Jones, M., “The effects of some transition-metal compounds on the flame retardance of poly (styrene-co-4-vinyl pyridine) and poly (methyl methacrylate-co-4-vinyl pyridine),” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 60, 401-407, 1998.
[27]  Holdsworth, A.F., Horrocks, A.R., Kandola, B.K. and Price, D., “The potential of metal oxalates as novel flame retardants and synergists for engineering polymers,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 110, 290-297, 2014.
[28]  Ebdon, J.R., Price, D.B., Hunt, B.J., Joseph, P., Gao, F., Milnes, G.J. and Cunliffe, L.K., “Flame retardance in some polystyrenes and poly (methyl methacrylate)s with covalently bound phosphorus-containing groups: initial screening experiments and some laser pyrolysis mechanistic studies,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 69, 267-277, 2000.
[29]  Ebdon, J.R., Hunt, B.J. and Joseph, P., “Thermal degradation and flammability characteristics of some polystyrenes and poly (methyl methacrylate)s chemically modified with silicon-containing groups,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 83, 181-185, 2004.
[30]  Zhang, S., Hull, T.R., Horrocks, A.R., Smart, G., Kandola, B.K., Ebdon, J., Hunt, B. and Joseph, P., “Thermal degradation analysis and XRD characterisation of fibre-forming synthetic polypropylene containing nanoclay,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 92, 727-732, 2007.
[31]  Didane, N., Giraud, S., Devaux, E., Lemort, G., “A comparative study of POSS as synergists with zinc phosphinates for PET fire retardancy,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 97 (3), 383-391, 2012.
[32]  Braun, U., Wachtendorf, V., Geburtig, A., Bahr, H., Schartel, B., “Weathering resistance of halogen-free flame retardance in thermoplastics,” Polymer Degradation and Stability, 95 (12), 2421-2429, 2010.
[33]  Jimenez, M., Duquesne, S., Bourbigot, S., “Intumescent fire protective coating: toward a better understanding of their mechanism of action,” Thermochimica Acta, 449 (1-2), 16-26, 2006.
[34]  Gupta, B., Revagade, N., Hilborn, J., “Poly (lactic acid) fiber: an overview,” Progress in Polymer Science, 32 (4), 455-482, 2007.