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We studied the impact of aluminum particle size and the thickness of surrounding alumina layer on the dynamic pressure discharge of nanothermite reactions in the Bi2O3/Al system. A pressure discharge from 9 to 13 MPa was generated using as-synthesized Bi2O3 nano-particles produced by combustion synthesis and Al nanoparticles with size from 3 μm to 100 nm. The maximum reaction temperature was measured to be ∼2700 °C. The estimated activation energy of the reaction was 45 kJ/mol. A very large (several orders of magnitude) difference existed between the rate of the pressure pulse release by nanothermite reactions and by thermite reactions with large aluminum particles. The maximum observed pressurization rate was 3200 GPa/s. The time needed to reach the peak pressure was 0.01 ms and 100 ms for aluminum particles with diameter of 100 nm and 70 microns, respectively. The discharge pressure was a monotonic decreasing function of the thickness of the surrounding alumina layer.


© 2011 American Institute of Physics. Original published version available at

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Journal of Applied Physics





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