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    Analysis of Metals Combustion Through Powder Production

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    The usual catastrophic results of metal-oxygen fires lends impetus to the search for the fundamental mechanisms of metals combustion. A variety of experimental techniques and their subsequent analysis needs to be pursued. This paper analyzes the powder produced during NASA standard flammability experiments of zinc, vanadium, molybdenum, tungsten and silicon at pressures ranging from 3.44 MPa to 68.9 MPa. Each product powder has a distinctive shape and size distribution. These distributions are described and detailed. The effect of variation of oxygen pressure on these shapes and size distributions is reported. In addition, a qualitative description of the combustion mechanism and powder growth is suggested for each metal. In these experiments, the metals burned in heterogeneous reactions.


    oxygen, flammability, fire, materials, tested, mechanisms tested, alloys, polymers

    Author Information:

    Wilson, DB
    Consultant, Mesilla Park, NM

    Sircar, S
    Materials Engineer, Corporate Research Development, Reynolds Metals Company, Richmond, VA

    Hornung, S
    Scientist, Allied Signal Technical Services Corp. Team, Las Cruces, NM

    Stoltzfus, JM
    Aerospace Engineer, NASA Laboratories Office, NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM

    Committee/Subcommittee: G04.92

    DOI: 10.1520/STP12056S