Ultra High Surface Area Aluminum Nanocomposite Powder for Solid Fuel Propellants
Department of Defense
Missile Defense Agency
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Small Business Information
Sigma Laboratories, Inc.
10960 N. Stallard Place, Tucson, AZ, 85737
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractAdvanced fuels and oxidizers, based on innovative nanotechnology prod cts and techniques are expected to supplant traditional solid and hybrid fuels, including aluminized fuels, commonly used in rocket propellant formulations. The aluminum metal is a stable low cost fuel that increases specific impulse and burn stability, but also introduces several undesirable effects primarily attributable to molten particle agglomeration and the formation of the reaction limiting Al2O3 on the particle surface. These effects limit the oxidation reaction rate and utilization efficiency of the aluminum powder. In this work an innovative nanocomposite aluminum powder with ultra-high surface area will be developed that has the potential for extremely high reaction rates, full utilization of the aluminum material and the future potential for an integrated fuel/oxidizer system. A patented ultra high speed nanotechnology vacuum process will be used to produce a material that is composed of thousands of aluminum nanolayers separated by polymer nanolayers. A nanocomposite aluminum particle can have hundreds of very thin aluminum layers, resulting in a very high surface to volume ratio; expected to increase reaction rate, powder oxidation efficiency, reduce nozzle erosion, and produce an environmentally cleaner exhaust. In Phase I, a few select nanocomposites will be produced and thermochemically characterized.
* information listed above is at the time of submission.