A multi-step reaction model for ignition of fully-dense Al-CuO nanocomposite powders

D. Stamatis, A. Ermoline, E. L. Dreizin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


A multi-step reaction model is developed to describe heterogeneous processes occurring upon heating of an Al-CuO nanocomposite material prepared by arrested reactive milling. The reaction model couples a previously derived Cabrera-Mott oxidation mechanism describing initial, low temperature processes and an aluminium oxidation model including formation of different alumina polymorphs at increased film thicknesses and higher temperatures. The reaction model is tuned using traces measured by differential scanning calorimetry. Ignition is studied for thin powder layers and individual particles using respectively the heated filament (heating rates of 103-104 K s-1) and laser ignition (heating rate ~106 K s-1) experiments. The developed heterogeneous reaction model predicts a sharp temperature increase, which can be associated with ignition when the laser power approaches the experimental ignition threshold. In experiments, particles ignited by the laser beam are observed to explode, indicating a substantial gas release accompanying ignition. For the heated filament experiments, the model predicts exothermic reactions at the temperatures, at which ignition is observed experimentally; however, strong thermal contact between the metal filament and powder prevents the model from predicting the thermal runaway. It is suggested that oxygen gas release from decomposing CuO, as observed from particles exploding upon ignition in the laser beam, disrupts the thermal contact of the powder and filament; this phenomenon must be included in the filament ignition model to enable prediction of the temperature runaway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1011-1028
Number of pages18
JournalCombustion Theory and Modelling
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • condensed phase reactions
  • heterogeneous kinetics
  • redox reactions
  • thermite ignition


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