Synthesis and characterization of flexible, free-standing, energetic thin films

Billy R. Clark, Michelle L. Pantoya, Emily M. Hunt, Trent J. Kelly, Benton F. Allen, Ronald J. Heaps, Michael A. Daniels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This study uses blade casting methods for the synthesis of flexible, free-standing energetic films. Specifically, films include aluminum (Al) and (MoO3) powder thermites combined with potassium perchlorate (KClO4) and silicone binder. In addition to this base composite, carbon fiber fabric reinforcement fabric has been incorporated to improve the structural integrity of the film. All films were cast at 1mm thickness with constant percent solids to ensure consistent rheological properties. The films were ignited and flame propagation was recorded with a high speed camera. The results show that the energy propagation of the films increases with increasing mass percent KClO4. The inclusion of carbon fiber fabric reinforcement fabric in the energetic film decreased the flame speed by 30% but maintained stable and steady energy propagation. The strengths of the films were tested to determine the effects of the carbon fiber fabric reinforcement fabric on the mechanical properties of the films. The non-reinforced film, failed upon initial loading of approximately 2.27kg while the reinforced film maintained a load of 72.3kg. While this method of synthesis allows manufacture of a flexible free-standing energetic film, the composition and rheology of the mixed slurry have potential as an extrusion cast energetic for additive manufacturing of energetic materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)422-426
Number of pages5
JournalSurface and Coatings Technology
StatePublished - Dec 25 2015


  • Additive manufacturing
  • Aluminum combustion
  • Blade casting
  • Energetic materials
  • Energy generation
  • Mechanical properties
  • Strength testing
  • Tape casting
  • Thermites
  • Thin films


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