The effects of fuel particle size on the thermal degradation of AI/Teflon mixtures

Dustin Osborne, Michelle Pantoya

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Reactive mixtures of aluminum (AI) and Teflon have applications in propellants, explosives, and pyrotechnics. This study examines the thermal degradation behavior of Teflon and nanometer scale AI particles compared with micron-scale AI particles. Differential scanning calorimetry and thermo-gravimetric analyses were performed in an argon environment on both nanometer and micron scale mixtures revealing lower onset temperatures and larger exothermic activity for the nanometer scale AI mixture. A pre-ignition reaction (PIR) unique to the nano-AI mixture is found. Experiments show the mechanism of the PIR to be the adsorption of fluoride ions from the Teflon polymer onto the aluminum oxide shell of the AI particles. The decreased alumina surface area inherent in larger AI particles lowers the exothermic effect of the PIR. The PIR may be the mechanism of ignition for nano-composite samples heated in air. Experimental results are discussed along with reviewed literature to explain the thermal degradation process of the mixtures. These results are helpful in the fundamental understanding of AI/Teflon degradation and particle size effects on the reactivity of AI/Teflon composites.

Original languageEnglish
StatePublished - 2006
Event2006 AIChE Spring National Meeting - 5th World Congress on Particle Technology - Orlando, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 23 2006Apr 27 2006

Conference

Conference2006 AIChE Spring National Meeting - 5th World Congress on Particle Technology
CountryUnited States
CityOrlando, FL
Period04/23/0604/27/06

Keywords

  • Aluminum
  • Ignition mechanism
  • Nano-aluminum
  • Polytetrafluoroethylene
  • Teflon
  • Thermal degradation

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    Osborne, D., & Pantoya, M. (2006). The effects of fuel particle size on the thermal degradation of AI/Teflon mixtures. Paper presented at 2006 AIChE Spring National Meeting - 5th World Congress on Particle Technology, Orlando, FL, United States.