Micross

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Embedded Catalytic Channels in Low Temperature Co-Fired Ceramics
Keywords: Catalyst, Micro-Channels, Propulsion
Advances in microelectronics have driven a move to smaller and smaller satellites. These satellites require smaller propulsion devices with lower propellant requirements in orbit. LTCC materials and recent advances in the ability to embed micro-channels within a monolithic ceramic substrate provide a platform to fabricate a reliable, low-cost micro-propulsion system. This work will describe the design and fabrication of an embedded micro-channel hydrogen peroxide catalyst chamber using LTCC materials. In this device, a silver paste is deposited on the walls of micro-channels to provide a catalytic decomposition surface for 93% hydrogen peroxide. The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide produces hot gas that is channeled into a micro-nozzle to produce thrust. This work will describe the design and fabrication of these multi-layered devices with channel sizes ranging from 0.5mm to 0.75 mm in width. Three fabrication processes will be detailed including: channel construction using a LASER milling machine, silver paste deposition using a CNC Direct Write tool as well as the use of a sacrificial carbon tape to maintain the channel integrity during lamination. Several images will be used to illustrate these processes. Each of the completed devices will be tested for leakage and pressure losses by flowing non-reactive water through the channels. The catalytic performance of each device will be tested using hydrogen peroxide. This performance will be described using thermocouple measurements on the outer surface of the ceramic device and in the exhaust plume.
Douglas Kellis, Student
Boise State University
Boise, Idaho
USA


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