The influence of alumina passivation on nano-Al/Teflon reactions

Michelle L. Pantoya, Steven W. Dean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


The reaction kinetics of aluminum (Al) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE or Teflon) were recently examined using nanoparticles of both Al and Teflon. Results showed a unique pre-ignition reaction (PIR) associated with the nano-Al/Teflon mixture that was not significant in the micron-Al/Teflon mixture. The PIR is caused by fluorination of the alumina (Al2O3) shell passivating the Al particles and reduces the onset temperature of Al ignition for nano compared with micron particle mixtures. Because the alumina shell was found to play a key role in the reaction mechanism, this communication extends our understanding of the interaction between alumina and Teflon by examining the influence of alumina particle size, and therefore surface area, on the fluorination reaction with Teflon. Differential scanning calorimetry analysis show that reaction kinetics vary dramatically as the alumina particle size is reduced from 50 to 15 nm diameter. Specifically, for 15 nm diameter alumina, the first exotherm (corresponding to the PIR) exhibits three times more heat of reaction than for the 30, 40, or 50 nm alumina particles. These results show how particle size and specific surface area affect the Al-Teflon reaction mechanism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-110
Number of pages2
JournalThermochimica Acta
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Sep 10 2009


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