An experimental investigation on the determination of ballistic properties and burning behavior of a composite solid propellant for airbag application was conducted. The experimental results were obtained using a high-pressure optical strand burner. Steady-state burning rates were determined for a pressure range of 20.8-41.5 MPa and initial propellant temperatures of -30 to +80 degrees C. For the pressure and temperature ranges tested, the temperature sensitivity was on the order of 1x10(-3) K-1. The pressure exponent was found to be a function of the initial propellant temperature and was 0.75 at 25 degrees C. The activation energy and the pre-exponential factor of the Arrhenius equation are 2.735 kcal/mol and 15.06 cm/s, respectively. The pressure deflagration limit for this propellant was found to be in the range of 8.37-8.72 MPa. During combustion, small condensed-phase spherical particles were ejected from the burning surface. The size of the particles decreased with either increasing the pressure or the initial propellant temperature. For pressures below 41.4 MPa, average particle size was on the order of 900 mu m, and at 84.4 MPa, the bead size was much smaller, on the order of 300 mu m. A chemical analysis on these particles using both the ESEM and the X-ray diffraction method indicated that the material of the beads was mostly sodium chloride with a small amount of silicon-containing compounds. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.