Date of Award

Fall 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Chemical, Biological and Pharmaceutical Engineering

First Advisor

Edward L. Dreyzin

Second Advisor

Robert Benedict Barat

Third Advisor

Mirko Schoenitz

Abstract

Metallic reactive powders are widely used as solid fuels, pyrotechnic materials, and components of enhanced blast explosives. Metals are attractive because of their high combustion enthalpies and temperatures. Quantitative descriptions of the combustion processes and mechanisms for both pure metal and composite particles are also desired for their proper implementation in specific applications. Among reactive metals, Al is used most widely and its combustion has been studied extensively. A recently developed experimental setup using laser-ignited metal powders enabled one to record optical signatures for time-resolved combustion instances for 2-25 µm diameter aluminum particles burning in different atmospheres. Individual particle diameters are interpreted and emission signatures are correlated to determine the burn times. The current setup has been expanded to include three-color optical pyrometry and tracing characteristic molecular emission. Results for Al and novel Al-based composite materials burning in different oxidizing environments will be discussed.

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