The thermally induced reaction of aluminum fuel and a fluoropolymer oxidizer such as polytetrafluoroethylene (via C-F activation) has been a well-studied thermite event for slow-burning pyrolants among a multitude of energetic applications. Generally, most metallized thermoplastic fluoropolymers suffer from manufacturing limitations using common melt or solvent processing techniques due to the inherent low surface energy and high crystallinity of fluoropolymers. In this report, we prepared an energetic composite utilizing the versatility of urethane-based polymers and provide a comparative thermal characterization study. Specifically, a thermite formulation comprising of nanometer-sized aluminum (nAl) fuel coated with perfluoropolyether (PFPE) oxidizer was solvent-blended with either a polyethylene glycol (PEG) or PFPE-segmented urethane copolymer. Thermal data were collected with calorimetric and thermogravimetric techniques to determine glass transition temperature and decomposition temperature, which showed modest effects upon various loadings of PFPE-coated nAl in the urethane matrix. While our application focus was for energetics, this study also demonstrates the potential to expand the ability to broadly manufacture structural metallized composites to their consideration as coatings, foams, or fibers.
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