This paper focuses on the control of solid-fuel burn rate by controlling the solid-fuel chemistry or by controlling heat losses. Laser cutting and lamination have been used to fabricate milli-scale test structures to characterize burn rates of composite solid fuel. The base ingredients for the solid fuels tested were phase-stabilized ammonium nitrate (PSAN), ammonium perchlorate (AP), and sodium azide (SA). These base ingredients were tested alone or mixed with hydroxyl-terminated poly-butadiene (HTPB) plus various accelerants. Several experiments were performed to test the controllability of composite solid fuels. Burn-rate tests at atmospheric pressure consisted of 250 to 500 micron deep square combustion chambers packed with fuel and resistively heated on the top surface until combustion was achieved. Experiments were also performed to increase burn rate through chamber pressurization. Reaction times for a set amount of fuel were observed to increase exponentially as nozzle diameter was decreased. Finally, combustion chamber geometry was altered to control reaction propagation by increasing localized heat losses. A 500 micron thick triangular chamber was fabricated and ignited at the larger end, allowing the reaction to propagate toward the triangle tip. These results indicate that controllable actuation of solid propellants on the microscale for non-thrust, gas generation actuator applications is feasible.

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