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Journal Title Abbrev.
J. Elem.
ISSN – 1644-2296
DOI: 10.5601

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Application and properties of aluminum in rocket propellants and pyrotechnics

Wydanie: 1/2018

Otrzymano: Marzec 14, 2017

Zaakceptowano: Sierpień 31, 2017

Opublikowano online: 2017-11-29


Cieślak K, Gańczyk-Specjalska K., Golofit T., Kasztankiewicz A., Zakościelny B., Zygmunt A

Kategorie: Review paper

DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2017.22.2.1432


Aluminum is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust. This metal is very reactive and is characterized by high heat of combustion. Aluminum is widely used in various technical fields such as: space technology, production of common use items, cars, airplanes, high energy materials. Aluminum in the shape of flakes or granulated with different particle sizes (nano- and micro-) is used in various mixtures. Aluminum powder is used as a component in rocket propellants, pyrotechnics, primary or secondary explosives. Aluminum as one of the components of solid rocket propellants acts as metallic fuel and the particle size of aluminum influences the utility properties of products. The particle size and aluminum content affect the viscosity of a rocket propellant mixture, burning time, ignition temperature, ignition delay time and specific impulse. This paper discusses the influence of modifications of the external layer of aluminum on the properties of aluminum combustion in rocket propellant. Aluminum acts as a fuel in pyrotechnic mixtures. The size of aluminum particles can affect parameters such as decomposition temperature and ignition temperature in pyrotechnic mixtures. One type of pyrotechnic mixtures consists of thermites. Introducing nano-sized aluminum to thermites creates mixtures with new properties called superthermites, nano-thermites or metastable intermolecular composites (MICs). Nano-thermites can possess different combustion characteristics than standard thermites. The firecrackers’ sound volume depending on the used particle size of aluminum was also studied.


Kasztankiewicz A., Gańczyk-Specjalska K., Zygmunt A., Cieślak K., Zakościelny B., Gołofit T. 2018. Application and properties of aluminum in rocket propellants and pyrotechnics. J. Elem., 23(1): 321 - 331. DOI: 10.5601/jelem.2017.22.2.1432

Słowa kluczowe:

thermite, particle size, specific impulse, ignition delay time

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