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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Improving aluminum particle reactivity by annealing and quenching treatments: Synchrotron X-ray diffraction analysis of strain


In bulk material processing, annealing and quenching metals such as aluminum (Al) can improve mechanical properties. On a single particle level, affecting mechanical properties may also affect Al particle reactivity. This study examines the effect of annealing and quenching on the strain of Al particles and the corresponding reactivity of aluminum and copper oxide (CuO) composites. Micron-sized Al particles were annealed and quenched according to treatments designed to affect Al mechanical properties. Synchrotron X-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis of the particles reveals that thermal treatment increased the dilatational strain of the aluminum-core, alumina-shell particles. Flame propagation experiments also show thermal treatments effect reactivity when combined with CuO. An effective annealing and quenching treatment for increasing aluminum reactivity was identified. These results show that altering the mechanical properties of Al particles affects their reactivity.

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