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Unexpected enhanced reactivity of aluminized nanothermites by accelerated aging

Wu, Tao and Lahiner, Guillaume and Tenailleau, Christophe and Reig, Benjamin and Hungria, Teresa and Esteve, Alain and Rossi, Carole Unexpected enhanced reactivity of aluminized nanothermites by accelerated aging. (2021) Chemical Engineering Journal, 418. 129432. ISSN 1385-8947

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2021.129432


We examine the thermal aging of four Al based thermites chosen among the most commonly used in microenergetic systems: Al/CuO, Al/Fe2O3, Al/Fe3O4 and Al/Co3O4. For each nanothermite system, we applied the modified Friedmann isoconversional method from DSC signals to calculate the kinetic parameters of reactions and the function of the reaction progress in air and argon. As result, it is found that all thermites should be thermally stable for one century when stored at temperatures below 200 °C, except for Al/Fe3O4 which readily converts into Al/Fe2O3 before the thermite reaction onset. Then, we designed annealing experiments to a fixed reaction progress : (i) as simulated after 100 years storage at the ambient temperature, (ii) up to 5%. The pressure development and burning rate of aged thermites are compared with as-prepared ones. After annealing at 200 °C in air and 400 °C in argon, an unforeseen faster reaction and pressurization rates are observed for Al/CuO and Al/Fe2O3 thermites. STEM and EDX show that the annealing provokes a modification of the aluminum particles structure accompanied with a softening of the alumina which explains the enhanced pressure performances and burn rates. Whereas the same nanothermites, Al/CuO and Al/Fe2O3, annealed at 400 °C in air, feature a reduced reactivity due to the over-oxidations of the aluminum core and the formation of crystalline alumina shell. These results reveal the high complexity of aging processes in powdered nanothermites as it provokes, not only a consumption of the heat reservoir, but also a modification of the Al/oxidizer interface morphology and chemistry which has a greater impact on the material reactivity than cumulative heat release and reaction progress evolution.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National des Sciences Appliquées de Toulouse - INSA (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
Laboratory name:
European Research Council (H2020 Excellent Science) - Occitanie Region / European Union
Deposited On:21 Jan 2022 13:06

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