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Ignition and Combustion Characteristics of Nanoscale Al/AgIO3: A Potential Energetic Biocidal System

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The authors investigated the ignition and reaction of Al/AgIO3 thermites for potential use in biocidal applications. Rapid-heating wire experiments were performed to measure the ignition temperature and investigate the thermal decomposition of the oxidizer using a T-Jump/TOF Mass Spectrometer and an optical emission setup. Combustion experiments inside a constant-volume pressure cell were also carried out, and the relative performance was compared with other thermite systems. The ignition temperature in air at atmospheric pressure was found to be 1215 ± 40 K. The AgIO3 was found to significantly outperform CuO and Fe2O3 oxidizers in pressurization tests, and this is attributed to the enhanced gas release as the AgIO3 thermally decomposes to release iodine in addition to oxygen. The reacted product was collected to investigate the final state of the products. Transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction were performed to show that the major Ag product species was AgI, and not elemental Ag and I2. The AgI was found to be surface exposed to the environment, existing primarily as agglomerated spherical nanoparticles, and was found in some cases to coat the Al2O3 after the reaction.
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Keywords: Biocide; Combustion; Ignition; Nanothermite; Silver iodate; Thermite

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA 2: Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA,Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Maryland, College Park, MD, USA 3: Chemistry and Materials Division, Naval Air Warfare Center, China Lake, CA, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2011

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