Ignition of aluminum powders by electro-static discharge

E. Beloni, E. L. Dreizin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Experiments were conducted to investigate metal particle heating and ignition by an Electro-Static Discharge, ESD (or spark). Al powder was chosen as a popular metal fuel additive for many energetic formulations, and as a metal, for which spark initiation typically results in ignition of individual particles rather than in a readily detectable aerosol flame (as is the case for Mg). Al powders with nominal particle sizes of 3-4.5 μm and 10-14 μm were used in experiments. The finer powder was found to be strongly agglomerated while almost no agglomeration was observed for the coarser powder. Emission streaks produced by an empty steel sample holder struck by the spark and by the spark-heated and ignited Al particles were detected and differentiated. Emission traces of burning particles were acquired by a photodiode to determine burn times for the particles ignited by sparks with different energies. From the burn times, particle diameters were estimated using a correlation reported in the literature. ESD current and voltage were measured to determine circuit impedance and energy delivered to the powder by Joule heating. Burn times for the ignited Al particles clearly correlated with the Joule heat energy for the coarser (nom. 10-14 μm) powder, but not for the finer powder used in this work. The results are interpreted assuming that the particles are Joule heated and that heating is more efficient for finer particles, with greater surface to volume ratio. It is further suggested that strong agglomeration observed for the finer Al powder skewed the expected correlation between the Joule heating energy and the size of ignited particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationFall Meeting of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute 2009
PublisherCombustion Institute
Pages694-703
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781615676682
StatePublished - 2009
EventFall Meeting of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute 2009 - College Park, United States
Duration: Oct 18 2009Oct 21 2009

Publication series

NameFall Meeting of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute 2009

Other

OtherFall Meeting of the Eastern States Section of the Combustion Institute 2009
CountryUnited States
CityCollege Park
Period10/18/0910/21/09

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemical Engineering(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry

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