Single particle combustion of pre-stressed aluminum

Kevin J. Hill, Michelle L. Pantoya, Ephraim Washburn, Joseph Kalman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


An approach for optimizing fuel particle reactivity involves the metallurgical process of pre-stressing. This study examined the effects of pre-stressing on aluminum (Al) particle ignition delay and burn times upon thermal ignition by laser heating. Pre-stressing was by annealing Al powder at 573 K and quenching ranged from slow (i.e., 200 K/min) identified as pre-stressed (PS) Al to fast (i.e., 900 K/min) identified as super quenched (SQ) Al. Synchrotron X-ray Diffraction (XRD) analysis quantified an order of magnitude which increased dilatational strain that resulted from PS Al and SQ Al compared to untreated (UN) Al powder. The results show PS Al particles exhibit reduced ignition delay times resulting from elevated strain that relaxes upon laser heating. SQ Al particles exhibit faster burn times resulting from delamination at the particle core-shell interface that reduces dilatational strain and promotes accelerated diffusion reactions. These results link the mechanical property of strain to reaction mechanisms associated with shell mechanics that explain ignition and burning behavior, and show pre-stressing has the potential to improve particle reactivity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1737
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jun 1 2019


  • Aluminum
  • Laser ignition
  • Reaction mechanism
  • Solid fuels
  • Strain
  • Stress


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