Paraffin fuel has been found to have a regression rate that is higher than conventional HTPB (hydroxyl-terminated polybutadiene) fuel and, thus, presents itself as an ideal energy source for a hybrid rocket engine. The energy characteristics of paraffin-based fuel and HTPB fuel have been calculated by the method of minimum free energy. The thermal degradation characteristics were measured for paraffin, pretreated paraffin, HTPB and paraffin-based fuel in different working conditions by the using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA). The regression rates of paraffin-based fuel and HTPB fuel were tested by a rectangular solid-gas hybrid engine. The research findings showed that: the specific impulse of paraffin-based fuel is almost the same as that of HTPB fuel; the decomposition temperature of pretreated paraffin is higher than that of the unprocessed paraffin, but lower than that of HTPB; with the increase of paraffin, the initial reaction exothermic peak of paraffin-based fuel is reached in advance, and the initial reaction heat release also increases; the regression rate of paraffin-based fuel is higher than the common HTPB fuel under the same conditions; with the increase of oxidizer mass flow rate, the regression rate of solid fuel increases accordingly for the same fuel formulation.
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