Ultra High Surface Area Microlaminate Aluminum Powder for High and Low Energy Explosives

Award Information
Department of Defense
Air Force
Award Year:
Phase II
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Sigma Labs, Inc.
10960 North Stallard Place, Tucson, AZ, 85737
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 Dr. Angelo Yializis
 (602) 575-8013
Business Contact
Phone: () -
Research Institution
Metal additives to explosive formulations are commonly used in high energy military and commercial explosives, solid fuel rocket propellants and military and commercial pyrotechnics. Aluminum metal is a stable low cost fuel that is typically used in the form of powder or flake. In high energy systems the energy of the balst and the velocity of the detonation wavefront can be limited by the utilization efficiency and oxidation reaction rate of the aluminum powder. In this work a composite aluminum powder will be developed that has the potential of extremely high reaction rates, full utilization of the aluminum material and the future potential for an Integrated Fuel System, that incorporates additional fuel and or oxidizer in a single powder particle. A patented ultra high speed vacuum process will be used to produce a material that is composed of tens of throusands of submicron aluminum layers separated by submicron polymer layers. a composite aluminum particle can have tens or even hundreds of very thin aluminum layers, resulting in a very high surface to volume ratio, that will increase the reaction rate and oxidation efficiency. The polymer materials are thrermally and mechanically stable and can incorporate functionalities that can aid or control the detonation process. The composite powder can have a variable density, it has superior environmental stability, and it is relativly safe to handle. In the Phase I work powders with select polymers and different aluminum to polymer ratios will be produced and will be therochemically characterized. Samples will also be supplied to the HERD group for evaluation. In Phase II the polymer material and the aluminum to polymer ratio will be optimized for specific appliances and pilot production samples will be supplied for evaluation to the HERD group and commercial explosives and solid fuel propellant manufacturers.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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