Deposition and characterization of energetic thin films

Kelsey Meeks, Michelle L. Pantoya, Christopher Apblett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


A new approach for depositing thin energetic films is introduced using doctor blade casting. Magnesium (Mg) and manganese dioxide (MnO2) is mixed with a solvent that includes a binder and is blade cast onto a foil substrate. This study investigated the effect of binder chemistry and concentration on combustion behavior. The Mg-MnO2 system was studied in the following binder-solvent systems: Polyvinylidene Fluoride (PVDF) - Methyl Pyrrolidone (NMP); Viton® fluoroelastomer (Viton A) - acetone; and, paraffin-xylene. Films were cast onto substrates to approximately 100μm thickness. Calorific output and flame velocity were measured for varying binder concentration. Calorific output increased with increasing binder concentration, to a maximum of 4.0kJ/g, suggesting participation of the binder in the exothermic reaction. Flame velocity decreased with increasing binder concentration, with a maximum of 0.14m/s. Binders are less conductive than metals and metal oxides thereby hindering the energy propagation with increasing binder content. Confined flame propagation tests were also conducted for the NMP/Mg-MnO2-PVDF system, with a maximum recorded flame velocity of 3.5m/s. High velocity imaging shows considerable differences in flame front, which may suggest a transition in propagation mechanism accounting for the observed increase in flame velocity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1117-1124
Number of pages8
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Doctor blade casting
  • Energetic materials
  • Flame velocities
  • Heat of combustion
  • Reactive coatings
  • Thermites


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