Bimetal Al–Ni nano-powders for energetic formulations

Ani Abraham, Hongqi Nie, Mirko Schoenitz, Alexander B. Vorozhtsov, Marat Lerner, Alexander Pervikov, Nikolay Rodkevich, Edward L. Dreizin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Four bimetal Al–Ni nano-powders with compositions varied from 5 to 45 at% of nickel were synthesized by explosion of electrically heated twisted pure Al and Ni wires in argon. The nano-powders were characterized using electron microscopy, x-ray diffraction, and thermal analysis. Materials were ignited using an electrically heated filament coated with powder and electrostatic discharge (ESD). The results were compared to those for pure nano-aluminum powder (n-Al) prepared using the same wire explosion technique. The nano-powders with high nickel concentrations contain fully reacted intermetallic phases, which are difficult to oxidize making them unattractive for energetic formulations. Nano-powders with lower nickel concentrations do not contain significant amounts of the intermetallic phases. No intermetallics were detected in the powder with 5 at% Ni, which oxidized qualitatively similar to n-Al. The overall mass gain during oxidation for the bimetal powder was nearly identical to that of n-Al, suggesting the same heat release anticipated from their combustion. Oxidation kinetics assessed for this material accounting directly for the measured particle size distribution was compared to that of n-Al. The bimetal powder oxidized slower than n-Al, indicating its greater stability during handling and storage. The bimetal powder was less ESD-ignition sensitive than n-Al, but generated a stronger emission signal when ignited. Therefore, the bimetal powder with 5 at% Ni is an attractive replacement of n-Al for advanced energetics with lower ESD sensitivity, better stability, and improved combustion performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalCombustion and Flame
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


  • Aluminum ignition
  • Combustion temperature
  • Electro-static discharge
  • Nano-aluminum aging
  • Nano-aluminum sensitivity
  • Thermal analysis


Dive into the research topics of 'Bimetal Al–Ni nano-powders for energetic formulations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this