Bottle Rocket Impulse With Water and Vegetable Oil

This experiment tested which liquid, vegetable oil or water, performed the best at giving the rocket impulse. It also tested which percentage of these liquids gave the rocket the most impulse. To test this, a force plate was attached to the bottom of a table and the bottle rocket was fastened on to the force plate. Then when the rocket was launched, the launcher was shot out of the bottle's nozzle and into the bucket and the rocket fired in the opposite direction into the force plate, which measured force over time thus yielding the total impulse produced by the setup. On average the setups with water performed better than their corresponding setups with vegetable oil. The setup that produced the most impulse for the water trials was when the bottle was filled with 45% water. This setup yielded an average impulse of 14.0516 N*s. The vegetable oil setup that gave the highest impulse was with 40% vegetable oil. This setup resulted in an average of 11.751 N*s worth of impulse, almost 2.5 N*s less than the maximum impulse from water. This shows that the setups with water provided quite a bit more impulse than the setups with vegetable oil. Also, it was interesting that the two different liquids gave peak impulses at different percentages of liquid. It was anticipated that they would peak at the same percentage of liquid with different values for impulse.

Research Done By:

Daniel Kosinski
Sterling Heights High School

Evangelos Foutris
Sterling Heights High School