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What’s solid-fuel technology and why’s North Korea developing it? | News

What’s solid-fuel technology and why’s North Korea developing it? | News

A look at the characteristics of solid-fuel technology and how it can help North Korea improve its missile systems.

North Korea says it has successfully tested a new solid-fuel intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), its first known use of the propellant in a longer-range projectile.

But what exactly is a solid-fuel missile and why does it matter to have one?

What is solid-fuel technology?

Solid propellant is a mixture of fuel and oxidiser. Metallic powders such as aluminum often serve as the fuel, and ammonium perchlorate, which is the salt of perchloric acid and ammonia, is the most common oxidiser.

The fuel and oxidiser are bound together by a hard rubbery material and packed into a metal casing.

When the solid propellant burns, oxygen from the ammonium perchlorate combines with aluminum to generate enormous amounts of energy and temperatures of more than 5,000 degrees Fahrenheit (2,760 degrees Celsius), creating thrust

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