Research Papers: Heat and Mass Transfer

Intensification of Chemically Assisted Melt–Water Explosive Interactions

[+] Author and Article Information
Anthony A. Sansone

School of Nuclear Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: asansone@purdue.edu

Rusi P. Taleyarkhan

School of Nuclear Engineering,
Purdue University,
West Lafayette, IN 47907
e-mail: rusi@purdue.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received February 13, 2015; final manuscript received November 21, 2016; published online February 1, 2017. Editor: Portonovo S. Ayyaswamy.

J. Heat Transfer 139(4), 042004 (Feb 01, 2017) (10 pages) Paper No: HT-15-1121; doi: 10.1115/1.4035353 History: Received February 13, 2015; Revised November 21, 2016

This paper investigates avenues for controlled initiation and augmentation of the mechanical and thermal energetic output of shock-triggered vapor explosions (VEs) with Al–GaInSn alloys; furthermore, enabling a means for impulsive hydrogen gas generation within milliseconds. Using a submerged electronic bridgewire detonator or rifle primer caps as the shock trigger for VE initiation, experiments were conducted with 10 g melt drops at initial temperature between 930 K and 1100 K, aluminum mass contents between 0.3 wt.% and 20 wt.%, and water temperatures between 293 K and 313 K. It was found that combined thermal–chemical Al–GaInSn–H2O explosive interactions can readily be controllably induced via shocks and are of greater intensity than the pure (spontaneous) thermally driven explosions observed with unalloyed Sn and GaInSn. Shock pressures up to 5 MPa were recorded about 10 cm from the explosion zone; a factor of 5 higher than the ∼1 MPa over pressures generated from spontaneous GaInSn–H2O explosions reported in our previous study. Al–GaInSn–H2O explosive interactions also exhibited rapid enhancements to the “impulse” H2 production rate. Hydrogen/vapor bubble volumes up to 460 ml were observed approximately 4 ms after the explosion, equating to a mechanical work and instantaneous power output of 47 J and 11.75 kW, respectively. In comparison with available, analogous, triggered-explosion studies with Al melt drops, our Al–GaInSn alloy melt at 1073 K generated up to 18 times (∼2000%) more hydrogen per gram of aluminum when compared with experiments with molten Al at a much higher melt temperature of 1243 K.

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Fig. 1

Schematic diagram of the system used for the Sn–H2O and Al–GaInSn–H2O melt interaction experiments: (1) argon supply, (2) direct current power source, (3) PC with LabviewTM virtual instrument, (4) ArduinoTM microcontroller, (5) high-speed camera, (6) digital oscilloscope, (7) explosion containment, (8) Tourmaline® pressure sensor, (9) shock generator, (10) atmospheric containment tube, (11) heater containment, and (12) K-type Thermocouple

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Fig. 2

Fragmentation results from VG and G type spontaneous explosions in 10 wt.% aqueous NaCl with 0.3 wt.% (top) and 5 wt.% (bottom) Al–GaInSn alloys, respectively

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Fig. 3

Normalized mass distribution of Sn comparing degree of fragmentation at various NaCl contents

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Fig. 4

Fragmentation of Sn melts exposed to variable amplitude shock pulses from detonation of a submerged electrical bridgewire. The left and right photos correspond to capacitor energies of 25 J and 32 J, respectively.

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Fig. 5

Sn fragmentation shock-triggered using an EtronXTM electronic rifle primer

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Fig. 6

Comparison of the fragment mass distributions generated using various external triggering techniques

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Fig. 7

High-speed images showing the time evolution of the hydrogen/vapor bubble produced by a lower superheat (∼150 K) 20 wt.% Al–GaInSn–H2O explosion

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Fig. 8

High-speed images depicting the sustained enhancement in the hydrogen production rate by a 10 wt.% Al–GaInSn melt alloy for the cases of an explosive interaction (top) and nonexplosive slow quenching (bottom)

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Fig. 9

Pressure time history of the shocks generated from the EBW trigger (left) and the thermal–chemical explosion between a 20 wt.% Al–GaInSn alloy and water (right). The entire pressure trace, as seen from the oscilloscope, is shown in the upper right corner.

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Fig. 10

Comparison of the explosion bubble produced using 150 J to detonate an EBW (left) and a 20 wt.% Al–GaInSn–H2O vapor explosion (right)

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Fig. 11

Effect of breakup time and area enhancement on heat flux and solidification time for the scenario of a molten 10 g Ga mass at 1073 K with an initial surface area Af0 of 7.05 cm2. The asterisk and diamond represent the solidification times for the 10−3 s and 10−4 s fragmentation breakup times, respectively.



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