Metastable aluminum-based reactive composite materials prepared by cryomilling

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Metal fuel additives are used in advanced explosive formulations to achieve higher combustion temperatures and longer pressure pulses. Cryomilling was used to prepare Albased reactive composites to replace pure Al as a fuel additive in explosives for multiple applications. In this project, two types of such composite materials are prepared and characterized: Al-I2 and Al-hydrocarbon (where wax and low density polyethylene were used as different hydrocarbon components). The prepared powders were initially evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis, scanning electron microscopy, and X-ray diffraction. Ignition temperatures of the prepared materials were determined at heating rates varied in the range of 1000 - 25000 K/s using an electrically heated filament. Materials were burned as individual particles and as aerosolized clouds. Ignition temperatures were significantly reduced for all composite materials. Single particle burn times were shorter and combustion temperatures were higher for pure Al compared to composite powders. In aerosol combustion tests, Al-I2 composites outperformed Al, while Al-hydrocarbon composites performed poorly. This poor performance was associated with strong agglomeration of the partially burned particles. Combustion of all composite materials was found to be strongly affected by the additives retained in the burning particles after their ignition despite the very high combustion temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2012
Event50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition - Nashville, TN, United States
Duration: Jan 9 2012Jan 12 2012


Other50th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting Including the New Horizons Forum and Aerospace Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNashville, TN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering


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