why are hybrid rocket motors regulated by NFPA?

can somebody explain to me why hybrid rocket motors are regulated by the
nfpa? I mean Nitrous oxide and plastic/paper/whatever are NOT explosive as
far as I know. Nor it it considered a flammable solid as it doesn't become
such until it ignites. I don't think NO2. Sure a hybrid rocket could
explode I suppose under the right circumstances, but so can this can of
gasoline that I have in the back of my truck. Isn't this another case of
over-regulation? Is there any danger of hybrid rocket motors being outlawed
because NO2 is a greenhouse gas?
please explsin this to me
terry dean
Reply to
shockwaveriderz
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The NFPA (National Fire Prevention Association) is a non-profit organization. They do not regulate anything, but they do develope codes that are used by agencies that do regulate. This includes several codes that cover the manufacture and//or use of rocket motors. Being concerned with fire prevention, there is no requerment that something is explosive. NO2 is an oxidiser, the fuel is flamable, and rocket motors will start fires.
shockwaveriderz wrote:
Reply to
Jim
There are several problems with nitrous oxide from the regulatory point of view, although I think the NFPA involvement is far more for flight operations than the motor systems themselves. Nitrous is not an explosive, but does have some rather unforgiving properties that encourage controlled access. It is a strong oxidizer, an anesthetic, an asphyxiant, sought after by certain druggies, and can be used to help create certain categories of explosives. Therefore I am required (I don't know if this is just the distributor I use or everywhere) to keep the nitrous in locked storage and keep an inventory and discharge record. The distributor claims this is a Homeland Security requirement, and N2O is just one of 40 gases on their list. Most of the others are truly nasty stuff. This may be because I am getting medical/industrial grade nitrous, without the odorant. Don't really know.
With that being said, however, access to nitrous is pretty easy. Local speed shops are happy to fill your tank (at around $5/pound). To obtain nitrous from the local industrial supplier I simply had to go down and establish my bona fides -- I provided copies of my driver's license, NAR card, and a nifty package of information I printed off the Internet concerning the use of nitrous in rocket motors. Given that, the distributor was more than happy to sell me the stuff-- at $2.10 a pound.
As far as hybrid rockets exploding, N2O is a monopropellant under the right circumstances, and if a hybrid motor goes "monoprop" you can kiss it goodbye... there will be confetti. The conditions which produce this condition are complex, but the design of monotube hybrid motors can allow this to happen if conditions are just right (or wrong, as may be). A major player in the effect is the gas pressure at time of launch.
BTW, nitrous oxide is N2O, and is indeed listed as a greenhouse gas. NO2 is nitrogen dioxide, some truly nasty, toxic stuff, and a major contributor to air contamination.. As to whether N2O can be outlawed as a greenhouse gas, I have yet to hear that rumbling, although the day may come.
Kevin OClassen
Reply to
Kevin OClassen
The NFPA creates model codes for pyrotechnics, not just explosives, that states can incorporate into their laws.
The better question is why does the NAR require HPR user certification for the use of small hybrid motors that do not require a LEUP? Isn't this a case of over regulation?
Alan
Reply to
Alan Jones
No HPR certification is required for non-HPR motors. Same with TRA. The two organizations agreed around the time 'G' motors became available.
FWIW, I think the available G hybrids are over the propellant limit for a model rocket motor and so really are HPR motors.
Reply to
Alex Mericas
It's a case of self-policing, i.e. if we don't do it someone else will. It further demonstrates adding a meaning of significance to the national bodies.
Reply to
Darrell D. Mobley
Because they meet the definition of a high power rocket motor in NFPA 1122 and 1127?
Reply to
David Schultz
Flyer certification has absolutely nothing to do with LEUP's or any alleged "explosive" properties of propellents. Certification is intended to show that the flyer has at least a minimal level of knowledge and skill for the use of high power motors.
Reply to
raydunakin
ray.. Just keep the noise down until the NAR BOT or the TRA BOD gives guidance on a public response. If you don't grasp the concept, RMR (Usenet) is a public response....
Any and all RMR posts can be used by either side... Folks that don't understand this aren't helping the things.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:
Reply to
AZ Woody
That is not entirely true. The point of user certification is to get users registered and listed so that authorities can round up the usual suspects when the need arises.
Bull. You can get the required user certification to fly hybrids without showing any knowledge of hybrids, of flying of a hybrid motor. I'm not suggesting that hybrid motors should be sold to minors.
Hybrid motors are a pain in the ass (or back) and are lower performing than APCP motors. However, they can be shipped, stored and used by rocketeers who cannot get LEUP storage. Those that can get LEUP storage are still forced to pay a high price for that privilege.
NAR HPR user cerebration expires within a year of NAR membership expiration, so continued use of small hybrid motors imposes the unreasonably high tax of NAR membership. (Please do not get side tracked on membership dues.)
I'm not sure where I would set the bars for "small" hybrid motors. Certainly Hybrid motors of less that 62.5 grams of propellant should be open to purchase and use by adults without any licensing and certification barriers. Since there are no large "explosive" or hazardous propellant grains involved, no hazmat shipping, LEUP storage etc. involved, I would suggest that hybrid motors of up to 4 Oz. of propellant mass should be available to adults without the additional burden of certification and licensing fees. (The FAA LMR limit.)
Now certainly there are still issues with igniters and ejection charges and the matter of what small hybrid motors the market may provide. I'd still like hybrid motors to be certified, for safety and performance assurance. While some advocates may say the future of HPR is not solid, I would say the future of hybrid motors depends on the outcome of ongoing litigation and future regulation and certification issues.
Alan
Reply to
Alan Jones
A common misconception from people who don't fly hybrids.
Per NAR and TRA agreement, no HPR certification is required for Hybrids that are not HPR.
Reply to
Alex Mericas
This apparently changed during the BoT meeting at NARAM. But all I have to go on is the recording of the NAR meeting posted by Chris Taylor. I sent an e-mail stating that I thought that their reasoning was flawed but I haven't heard anything in return.
The reason, as near as I can tell, is because NFPA 1125 has a specific section for high power hybrids but not one for model hybrids. There is nothing in any of the NFPA codes that says all hybrids are high power.
Reply to
David Schultz
Woody, my post had nothing whatsoever to do with our current ATF situation. It was about flyer certs, not LEUPs. The clear, historical fact of the matter is that flyer certification was instituted long before the ATF attempted to assert control over our hobby, and flyer certs never had anything to do with LEUPs or ATF regs. Flyer certs (originally called "consumer confirmation") were intended solely to placate the NFPA. What part of that concept do you have trouble grasping?
l
Reply to
raydunakin
Whatever. The point is, flyer certs are an NFPA thing, not an ATF thing, and they have nothing at all to do with LEUPs or the ATF.
Ok, so you don't like flyer certification for high power motors. Take it up with the NFPA.
Um, what's your point? What do LEUPs have to do with hybrids?
You're the only one who brought it up.
There's no requirement for high power certification to use low-power hybrid motors. High power certification is for users of high power motors, period.
m
Reply to
raydunakin
We had this discussion at ou meeting last night. Hybrids are a pain in the neck. The BATF is a pain in the @$$. At this point I'd rather deal with the hybrids, until we win the lawsuit.
Reply to
Bob Kaplow
Hi Bob: Can you summarize the perceived problems, please? Maybe these are issues that can be solved for you...
The one that isn't going away is carting the GSE around. Until Aerotech or Alpha get their non-vented lines of motors running. Anyway, I've got all the stuff in a rolling cooler and that is pretty convenient. Will
Bob Kaplow wrote:
Reply to
Will Marchant
Common misconception my bottom.d
Compared to AP motors they are a royal Pain in the ass.
Reply to
Tweak
It takes me less time to prep a Hypertek motor than it does an AMW or Aerotech reload. I know, I've timed it. Very similar in effort to a PRO38. On the launch pad the setup is similar in complexity to hooking up a standard igniter. The launch procedure is more complex because you have to watch for a complete fill (the most common cause of problems in my experience) and then switch the controller from fill to fire. Yeah, I know... it requires skill. What a pain.
On the flip side, I can purchase and store my Hypertek M grain completely permit free. Most PRO38's, on the other hand, require a LEUP and Storage magazine. Which one is a royal pain?
Reply to
Alex Mericas
Yeah. WHEN it all works. WHEN the stem isn't screwed up, WHEN the GSE isn't leaking, etc. etc.. Requires skill...ha ha, Mr. smartass. Requires luck is more like it. You hybrid fanatics are so defensive it ain't even funny.
I have a permit, and I spent less time getting that than I've seen spent in the attempt to launch one hybrid rocket.
Reply to
Tweak
Basically you wrote "...Certification is intended to show..." as if a summary of the orgs intention.
I think that is what Woody was driving at, for whatever reason.
Cheers!
~ Duane Phillips.
Reply to
Duane Phillips

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