Fabrication and Energetic Characterization of Al/Cu2O Nano-Laminate Thermite
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Thermites are a class of material which utilizes the oxidation/reduction reaction of the metal fuel and metal/non-metal oxide to produce heat. Thermite materials are used in a variety of applications including welding, metal refining, propulsion and, as technology has progressed, micro-applications including MEMs. Nano-laminate thermite materials have been developed to offer specialized controllability of ignition and reaction characteristics, and also provide significant improvements in reaction rates, sensitivity, and activation energy than traditional thermite. This thesis provides an in-depth examination of the Al/Cu2O nano-laminate thermite system using DSC bulk heating, laser-ignition, and microwave-ignition sources. This system has been largely overlooked due to its low heat of reaction, however this characteristic may be advantageous in certain micro-scale applications to avoid damage to sensitive components. It is critical to understand the range of energetic characteristics that can be achieved in this system by varying the structural properties. The effects of the structural properties including number of layers, layer thickness ratio and substrate use on the ignition and reaction characteristics were studied. This examination provides insight into the reaction mechanism(s) present in the samples, filling a critical research gap. With the knowledge of how the structural characteristics can be tailored to achieve certain ignition and reaction characteristics, it is shown that the Al/Cu2O nano-laminate thermite structure can be applicable in a wide range of applications with varying energetic requirements and ignition sources. There is a major source of error in this work that must be assessed in order to ensure the accuracy of the results. Due to the removal procedure of the substrate-free flakes, it is critical that further investigation occur to ensure that there is no contamination of the samples from the applied photoresist coating. This assessment is expected to improve the reliability of the results presented in this thesis.
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Victoria Kerr (2021). Fabrication and Energetic Characterization of Al/Cu2O Nano-Laminate Thermite. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/16613