Processing of Metal Powders for Enhanced Combustion Efficiencies

Period of Performance: 08/07/2015 - 02/06/2017

$497K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Matsys, Inc.
45490 Ruritan Circle Array
Sterling, VA 20164
Principal Investigator

Abstract

MATSYS proposes to develop and scale-up a processing technology to maximize the combustion efficiency of metal powders and enhance warhead blast performance. Metal powder particles are typically prepared by inert gas atomization and have very clean surfaces. These particles are then exposed to a controlled amount of oxygen to pacify the surface and enable safe handling. In some applications, these metallic powder particles are intended to participate in an exothermic reaction and release energy upon shock or impact loading. The existence of an oxide layer requires the heating of the particles to higher temperature to break this layer before the exothermic reaction can take place. The result is a delay in the reaction initiation and an incomplete reaction during a detonation event because of the higher temperature required for heating. Both of these factors contribute to a lower energy release than theoretical, and thus a loss of combustion efficiency. We plan to ?rejuvenate? the metal powder particle surfaces, refine the grain size of the micron size metal particle to reduce the diffusion length and facilitate complete reaction, and consolidate the powder into bulk material to lock in its fine grain structure and make it stable over time and environmental exposure.