Utilizing the Power of Nanostructures to Their Fullest Capability in Energetic Formulations

Report No. ARL-TR-7604
Authors: N Scott Weingarten; Jennifer L Gottfried; Iskander G Batyrev; Eric S Collins; Michael R Zachariah
Date/Pages: February 2016; 46 pages
Abstract: The significantly enhanced energy release expected from energetic formulations containing nanostructured aluminum (Al) has never been realized due to sintering of the nano-Al just prior to the energy release step. This precludes achieving the faster energy release, more efficient combustion, and controllable explosive performance consistent with the introduction of nanostructured metallics to energetic formulations. This DRI project used complementary experimentation and theory to study the energy release mechanisms of decompositions of novel assemblies of gas generators containing nanoscale Al (conventional Al nanoparticles and Al nanoclusters) to overcome the sintering and/or oxide-formation issues. Experimentally, a previously published hypothesis for the mechanism leading to enhanced energy release from Al nanoparticles in the presence of a gas generator was disproven, and a new hypothesis was developed. Computer simulations demonstrated that an unexpected intermixing inhibits the effect of small-scale Al clusters passivated with a gas generator, introducing different hindrances to enhanced combustion.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: February 1, 2016