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The burning of aluminum in NASA/ASTM flammability tests is examined for establishing a probable mechanism. Similarity between oxidation of pure solid and pure liquid aluminum surfaces suggest that a phase-boundary reaction occurs and that a Langmuir-Hinshelwood model is appropriate. Consistent evaluation of available data confirm that a phase-boundary reaction is highly probable. Vacuum evaporation and thermal energy considerations support this contention.
aluminum burning, heterogeneous liquid reaction, kinetic model, thermodynamic analysis
Consultant, Mesilla Park, NM
Aerospace Engineer, NASA Laboratories Office, NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM