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Measuring Heat Production from Burning Al/Zr and Al/Mg/Zr Composite Particles in a Custom Micro-Bomb Calorimeter

Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 21218, USA
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Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Materials 2020, 13(12), 2745; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma13122745
Received: 15 May 2020 / Revised: 3 June 2020 / Accepted: 12 June 2020 / Published: 17 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Metal Combustion)
Al:Zr, Al-8Mg:Zr, and Al-38Mg:Zr nanocomposite particles fabricated by physical vapor deposition (PVD) and ball milling were reacted in 1 atm of pure O2 within a custom, highly-sensitive micro-bomb calorimeter. The heats of combustion were compared to examine the effect of particle size and composition on combustion efficiency under room temperature and in a fixed volume. All particles yielded ~60–70% of their theoretical maximum heat of combustion and exhibited an increase in heat over composite thin films of similar compositions, which is attributed to an increase in the surface area to volume ratio. The effect of particle size and geometry are mitigated owing to the sintering of the particles within the crucible, implying the importance of particle dispersion for enhanced performance. Vaporization of the metal species may transition between two diffusion flame species (Mg to Al). As Mg content is increased, more vaporization may occur at lower temperatures, leading to an additional stage of sintering. Physically intermixed Al and Mg oxides have been observed coating the surface of the particles, which implies a continuous transition of these vaporization processes. Such nano-oxides imply high vapor-flame combustion temperatures (>2700 K) and suggest viability for agent defeat applications. View Full-Text
Keywords: bomb calorimetry; physical vapor deposition; ball milling; particle size; sintering; metal combustion; combustion efficiency bomb calorimetry; physical vapor deposition; ball milling; particle size; sintering; metal combustion; combustion efficiency
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Wainwright, E.R.; Mueller, M.A.; Overdeep, K.R.; Vummidi Lakshman, S.; Weihs, T.P. Measuring Heat Production from Burning Al/Zr and Al/Mg/Zr Composite Particles in a Custom Micro-Bomb Calorimeter. Materials 2020, 13, 2745.

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