Laser ignition of nanocomposite thermites

John J. Granier, Michelle L. Pantoya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

351 Scopus citations


Laser ignition experiments were performed to determine the ignition time of nanoscale particle diameter composites of aluminum (Al) and molybdenum trioxide (MoO 3). Ignition time and burn rate were measured as a function of stoichiometry and also as a function of Al particle diameter, which ranged from 17.4 nm to 20 μm. Composites were pressed into solid cylindrical pellets with a 4.5-mm diameter and length and with a constant 38% theoretical maximum density (TMD). A 50-W CO 2 laser provided the ignition source and high-speed digital images were used to determine ignition time and burn rates. Results indicate that nanoscale Al particle composites show significantly reduced ignition times that varied from 12 ms up to 6 s for nanometer compared with micrometer scale Al particle composites, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-383
Number of pages11
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Burn rates
  • Ignition delay time
  • Laser ignition
  • Nano aluminum combustion
  • Nanocomposite energetic materials


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