Innovative Passivation Technologies for Aluminum Nanoparticles

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch
Army
Amount:
$149,994.00
Award Year:
2012
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase I
Contract:
W15QKN-12-C-0014
Agency Tracking Number:
A112-089-0019
Solicitation Year:
2011
Solicitation Topic Code:
A11-089
Solicitation Number:
2011.2
Small Business Information
UES, Inc.
4401 Dayton-Xenia Road, Dayton, OH, -
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
Y
Duns:
074689217
Principal Investigator:
Christopher Crouse
Principal Investigator
(937) 255-9368
ccrouse@ues.com
Business Contact:
Rick Weddle
Director
(937) 426-6900
rweddle@ues.com
Research Institution:
Stub




Abstract
Aluminum (Al) has an energy density (-31.05 kJ/g) nearly three times higher than most molecular high explosives and its combustion yields an exothermic release of energy ("'Hf (Al2O3) = -1676.8 kJ/mol) but is limited by surface diffusion, therefore an increase in surface area yields a direct increase on the reaction rate. Aluminum nanopowders (nano-Al) possess surface areas on the order of 20-40 m2/g and have attracted interest throughout the energetics community for propellant and metallization applications. Unpassivated nano-Al powders are highly pyrophoric and require stabilization through formation of a nascent oxide layer (2-6 nm), however, this process accounts for a 14-38% loss of reactive aluminum. To optimize the reactive Al content in nano-Al powders, UES proposes the use of silicon, deposited through a modified chemical vapor deposition process, as an innovative passivation strategy for stabilizing nano-Al. Silicon has an energy density (-32.42 kJ/g) essentially equivalent to Al and also expresses high reactivity on the nano-scale, although passivation of silicon is achieved through a 34% less dense, 1-2 nm nascent oxide, or the use of organic coatings. Therefore, passivation of nano-Al through deposition of silicon has the potential to eliminate undesirable Sdead weight and replace it with additional reactive fuel.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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