Development of flexible, free-standing, thin films for additive manufacturing and localized energy generation

Billy Clark, Jena McCollum, Michelle L. Pantoya, Ronald J. Heaps, Michael A. Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Film energetics are becoming increasingly popular because a variety of technologies are driving a need for localized energy generation in a stable, safe and flexible form. Aluminum (Al) and molybdenum trioxide (MoO3) composites were mixed into a silicon binder and extruded using a blade casting technique to form flexible free-standing films ideal for localized energy generation. Since this material can be extruded onto a surface it is well suited to additive manufacturing applications. This study examines the influence of 0-35% by mass potassium perchlorate (KClO4) additive on the combustion behavior of these energetic films. Without KClO4 the film exhibits thermal instabilities that produce unsteady energy propagation upon reaction. All films were cast at a thickness of 1 mm with constant volume percent solids to ensure consistent rheological properties. The films were ignited and flame propagation was measured. The results show that as the mass percent KClO4 increased, the flame speed increased and peaked at 0.43 cm/s and 30 wt% KClO4. Thermochemical equilibrium simulations show that the heat of combustion increases with increasing KClO4 concentration up to a maximum at 20 wt% when the heat of combustion plateaus, indicating that the increased chemical energy liberated by the additional KClO4 promotes stable energy propagation. Differential scanning calorimeter and thermogravimetric analysis show that the silicone binder participates as a fuel and reacts with KClO4 adding energy to the reaction and promoting propagation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number087128
JournalAIP Advances
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Development of flexible, free-standing, thin films for additive manufacturing and localized energy generation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this