Technical Briefs

Thermal Property Measurements of Reactive Materials: The Macroscopic Behavior of a Nanocomposite

[+] Author and Article Information
Amanda Gordon, Keerti Kappagantula

Mechanical Engineering Department,  Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1021

Michelle L. Pantoya1

Mechanical Engineering Department,  Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 79409-1021michelle.pantoya@ttu.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Heat Transfer 134(11), 114503 (Sep 28, 2012) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006749 History: Received June 04, 2011; Revised March 25, 2012; Published September 26, 2012; Online September 28, 2012

This study experimentally examined the thermal properties of reactive materials that are a composite of fuel and oxidizer particles. Three reactive materials were selected: aluminum (Al) with iron (III) oxide (Fe2 O3 ); Al with Teflon (C2 F4 ); and Al with titanium (IV) oxide (TiO2 ). The experimental measurements were performed using a laser flash analyzer (LFA) and then compared with calculations based on weighted averages of each component in the composite. The effects of fuel particle size, oxidizer, and initial temperature on thermal properties were studied. Nanometric Al composites are more insulative than their micron-scale counterparts, exhibiting three times lower thermal conductivity in some cases. Increased overall contact resistance may be a key contributor to the reduction in thermal conductivity. The measured values deviated as high as 69% from weighted average estimates of thermal properties. These results suggest that factors not accounted for in weighted average estimates significantly influence the thermal properties of the matrix.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 4

(a) SEM of Al + Fe2 O3 pellets pressed to 60% TMD for nanometric Al particles and (b) micron-scale Al particles; (c) SEM of Al + C2 F4 pellets pressed to 60% TMD for nanometric Al particles and (d) micron-scale Al particles; and (e) SEM of Al + TiO2 pellets pressed to 60% TMD for nanometric Al particles and (f) micron-scale Al particles

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Figure 3

For the nano-Al (nAl) and micron-Al (mAl) composites as a function of initial sample temperature: (a) thermal conductivity (k); (b) thermal diffusivity (α); and (c) specific heat capacity (cp )

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Figure 2

Time–temperature curve of a thermite sample and the Pyrex sample

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Figure 1

Schematic representation of fuel and oxidizer particle resistances




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