Journal of Nanomaterials & Molecular NanotechnologyISSN: 2324-8777

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Nano-Aluminum Thermite Formulations: Characterizing the Fate Properties of a Nanotechnology during Use

Nano-Aluminum Thermite Formulations: Characterizing the Fate Properties of a Nanotechnology during Use

Nanothermites represent an emerging class of highly efficient propellants/explosive materials whose environmental impacts are poorly understood. In this work, several nanothermite formulations (e.g., Fe2O3/Al and Bi2O3/Al) were investigated following material transformation during end use. Combustion products were analyzed by SEM, EDS, and XRD. These products subsist with unique physical and chemical forms as compared to the original materials. The combustion process results in the formation of inert spinel structures in the case of the iron-based formulations, whereas Bi2O3/Al composites react fully, transforming to metallic bismuth and aluminum oxide. These products are largely resistant to wetting and evidence suggests that transport in aqueous environments would be limited. Due to the particle size ranges found, it is speculated that the main transport route for these materials is aerosolization. These data will ultimately establish a baseline for future studies aimed at an accurate determination of the fate of nanothermite formulations after use.
 

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