Thermo-physical characteristics of nickel-coated aluminum powder as a function of particle size and oxidant

Sanghyup Lee, Kwanyoung Noh, Jihwan Lim, Woongsup Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Aluminum particles 15-25 μm in size are widely used in fuel propellants and underwater propulsion systems in national defense research. However, these particles are covered with an aluminum oxide film, which has a high melting point, so ignition is difficult. To improve the ignitability of high-energy aluminum powder and to understand the reaction phenomenon as a function of particle size(15-25 μm, 74-105 μm, and 2.38 mm) and oxidizer(air, CO2, and argon), the natural oxide films are chemically removed. The particles are then coated with nickel using an electro-less method. The degree of nickel deposition is confirmed qualitatively and quantitatively through surface analysis using scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive spectroscopy. To characterize the nickel coatings, elemental analysis is also conducted by using X-ray diffraction. Thermogravimetric analysis/differential scanning calorimetry (TGA/DSC) enable comparisons between the uncoated and coated aluminum, and the reaction process are investigated through fine structural analysis of the particle surfaces and cross sections. There are little difference in reactivity as a function of oxidant type. However, a strong exothermic reaction in the smaller nickel-coated aluminum particles near the melting point of aluminum accelerates the reaction of the smaller particles. Explanation of the reactivity of the nickel-coated aluminum depending on the particle sizes is attempted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1244-1255
Number of pages12
JournalChinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering (English Edition)
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Nov 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by Defense Acquisition Program Administration and Agency for Defense Development(Grant Nos. UD110095CD, UD130038GD)

Publisher Copyright:
© Chinese Mechanical Engineering Society and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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