Characterization of the Combustion Behavior of Aluminum-Nickel Based Reactive Materials

Report No. ARL-TR-4917
Authors: Barrie E. Homan, Kevin L. McNesby, John Ritter, Joseph Colburn, and Andrew Brant
Date/Pages: August 2009; 24 pages
Abstract: Reactive materials (RM) consist of a wide class of energetic materials that have unique characteristics that can be beneficial to the weapon designer. However, most of the existing information on the behavior of these materials is phenomenological in nature, with little evidence as to the initiation and reaction mechanisms at play. To enable the exploitation of the potential lethality gains, a more fundamental understanding of the initiation and reaction processes was pursued using an array of diagnostic techniques to probe the energy release mechansims. The nickel (Ni)-aluminum (Al) RM system was chosen as the base for the morphology, chemistry, and initiation condition effects studies. Various metals additives were mixed or alloyed with the Al portion of the RM matrix and were subsequently launched by a powder gun into an instrumented chamber to explore the energy release mechanisms. In addition to pressure, high-speed spatial thermometry was used to produce temperature maps that can be directly compared to current modeling efforts. Flash x-ray photography was used to supplement the current suite of high-speed imaging to investigate the effects of surface area generation during impact.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2009