A Process to Make Propulsion Grade Functional Polybutadiene
Profile last edited on: 10/24/2019

Total Award Amount
Award Phase
Principal Investigator
John Murphy
Activity Indicator

Company Information

Mach I Inc

340 East Church Road
King Of Prussia, PA 19406
   (610) 279-2340
Multiple Locations:   
Congressional District:   04
County:   Montgomery

Phase I

Phase I year
Phase I Amount
This project will produce a commercial process for the manufacture of carboxy terminated polybutadiene (CTPB) polymer for use as a binder in ANB-3066 and other solid rocket propellants systems. Phase I objective is to produce laboratory quantities of CTPB which meet the Phillip Petroleum Company specifications for Butarez (R) CTL Type II Polymer, closely represents the Butarez Structure and Physical Properties, and meets the procurement standards of Aerojet specification ASPC-24242. The chemical and physical properties that are controlled with this specification are molecular weight, water content, acid content, viscosity, volatiles, refractive index, antioxident, ash, unsaturation type, viscosity ratio, and carbon tetrachloride insolubles. The intent of this project is to qualify this polymer in subscale propellant qualification tables with a propellant manufacturer during Phase II and build a commercial CTPB unit in conjunction with a chemical manufacturing partner during Phase III.Presently there is only one producer of CTPB polymer that is qualified to be used in the binder of ANB-3066 propellant. The chemical and physical properties of the CTPB are critical in producing the binder and must meet the standards of Aerojet specification ASPC-34242. Although several polymerization initiator methods have been used to produce CTPB polymer, only anionic initiated polymer can meet the critical specifications. The objective of this research is to develop an anionic initiated process for preparing CTPB polymer which meets the Aerojet specifcations. Another objective is to develop a process which can meet all current environmental regulations.

Polybutadiene Carboxy Terminated Polybutadiene Butarez Polymer Binder Polymer Synthesis Solid Rocket

Phase II

Phase II year
2011 (last award dollars: 2016)
Phase II Amount
In 1997, MACH I, Inc. was awarded a Phase I SBIR contract F42650-97-C-0400"A Process to Manufacture Carboxyl Terminated Polybutadiene (CTPB)."MACH I successfully completed this research and demonstrated its ability to produce CTPB meeting propellant specifications. A Phase II SBIR proposal to optimize the results obtained in Phase I and prepare pilot scale samples for Minuteman binder qualification was requested. The Phase II proposal was submitted, but not awarded. A Phase II SBIR contract is proposed to both complete the research necessary to produce pilot scale quantities of CTPB for characterizations and also use similar methodology to produce pilot scale quantities of a new and improved version of HTPB resin as well as one comparable to the standard commercial product. The objective will be to make, characterize, and performance evaluate samples of both HTPB and CTPB. At the end of Phase II, MACH I, Inc. will be a second source supplier of both HTPB and CTPB in a 5,000 lb/yr pilot plant. The synthetic routes and pilot scale processes developed will establish second source availability and mitigate the risk of single source dependence, as well as providing a new improved HTPB resin for consideration by the propellant community.