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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Stress relaxation in pre-stressed aluminum core–shell particles: X-ray diffraction study, modeling, and improved reactivity


Stress relaxation in aluminum micron-scale particles covered by alumina shell after pre-stressing by thermal treatment and storage was measured using X-ray diffraction with synchrotron radiation. Pre-stressing was produced by annealing Al particles at 573K followed by fast cooling. While averaged dilatational strain in Al core was negligible for untreated particles, it was measured at 4.40×10-5 and 2.85×10-5 after 2 and 48 days of storage. Consistently, such a treatment leads to increase in flame propagation speed for Al+CuO mixture by 37% and 25%, respectively. Analytical model for creep in alumna shell and stress relaxation in Al core-alumina shell structure is developed and activation energy and pre-exponential multiplier are estimated. The effect of storage temperature and annealing temperature on the kinetics of stress relaxation was evaluated theoretically. These results provide estimates for optimizing Al reactivity with the holding time at annealing temperature and allowable time for storage of Al particles for different environmental temperatures.

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