This work reports on the synthesis and tunable characteristics of nanothermite compositions based on mesoporous Fe2O3 as an oxidizer and Al nanoparticles as a fuel. The reactivity (rate of increase of pressure) and the combustion wave speed were determined to evaluate the performance of these composites for various applications. A gas generating polymer, (acrylamidomethyl) cellulose acetate butyrate (AAMCAB), was loaded in the mesopores of Fe2O3 matrix following wet-impregnation technique. The samples prepared in this work were characterized by a number of analytical techniques such as Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) absorption spectroscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopy (TEM, SEM), energy dispersive X-ray analysis, X-ray diffraction, and nitrogen adsorption–desorption isotherms. Then, mesoporous Fe2O3 powder was mixed with Al nanoparticles to prepare nanoenergetic composites. The main characteristics such as peak pressure, reactivity, combustion wave speed, and pressure sustenance were determined as a function of polymer loading. The dependence of combustion wave speed on the pressure was established following the well-known Vieille's law. The small value of 0.408 for the pressure exponent indicates the suitability of these nanothermite compositions for propellant applications. By reducing the percentage of polymer, the characteristic properties of nanoenergetic composite can be suitably tuned for other applications.
A. Bezmelnitsyn, Dr. T. Rajagopalan, Barizuddin, S., Tappmeyer, D., Apperson, S., Gangopadhyay, K., Gangopadhyay, S., Redner, P., Donadio, M., Kapoor, D., and Nicolich, S., “Modified Nanoenergetic Composites with Tunable Combustion Characteristics for Propellant Applications”, Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics, vol. 35, pp. 384–394, 2010.