Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2004

Degree Name

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


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Edward L. Dreyzin

Second Advisor

Chao Zhu

Third Advisor

Boris Khusid


Combustion rates and completeness of aerosolized spherical aluminum powders and flakes are compared using constant volume explosion experiments. The comparison of particles and flake sizes was made based on their specific surface areas determined using the Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) method and respective "BET diameters". It is observed that the rates of pressure rise and rates of flame propagation were higher for aluminum powders with BET diameters of about 2 to 5 μm compared to aluminum flakes for which the BET diameters were under 1 μm In agreement with the flame propagation rates, the overall completeness of combustion was also higher for aluminum powders compared to flakes. It is suggested that aerosolized flakes could be agglomerated in gas flows more than spherical particles causing their inferior combustion performance.