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Wide Ranging Viscosity Measurements of Rocket Propellant RP-2



Arno D. Laesecke, Dylan S. Cousins


Expanding on earlier viscosity measurements of rocket propellants from 293 K to 373 K at atmospheric pressure, the viscosity of rocket propellant RP-2 was measured from 270 K to 450 K with pressures to 137 MPa. The instrument was an oscillating piston viscometer, modified and recalibrated at NIST with dodecane as a reference fluid over the full temperature and pressure range. Based on the recalibrations, the repeatability of the measurements was found to be approximately 3 % while the uncertainty of the instrument is estimated at 5 %. The measured viscosities of RP-2 were compared with values calculated with a five-component surrogate mixture model developed at NIST Boulder. The experimental data have a stronger pressure dependence than the mixture model and are up to 29 % higher at high compressions.
Journal of Propulsion and Power


Calibration, dodecane, measurements, oscillating piston viscometer, rocket propellant, viscosity


Laesecke, A. and Cousins, D. (2013), Wide Ranging Viscosity Measurements of Rocket Propellant RP-2, Journal of Propulsion and Power, [online], (Accessed June 13, 2024)


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Created August 28, 2013, Updated November 10, 2018