SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2003

Microanalysis of Quenched and Self-extinguished Aluminum Rods Burned in Oxygen


Promoted ignition tests and quench tests have been conducted and analysed for 3.2 mm aluminum rods in 99.995% oxygen. Tests have been conducted in oxygen pressures varying from 538 kPa to 773 kPa. Samples that self-extinguished or were quenched were selected for further analysis. The microstructure of the selected samples were analysed by electron microscopy, using energy dispersive spectrometry and electron back-scatter techniques, to identify and visualize, respectively, the species present. The grain structures of these samples were etched, viewed and photographed under polarized light by an optical microscope. From the micrographs produced by the post-test analysis, clearly defined boundaries between the oxide and the melted and resolidified metal have been observed. In both the melted and resolidified metal and the oxide layer, significant numbers of gas bubbles, solid inclusions and several diffuse oxide bubbles have been captured during the cooling process. It is concluded that convective movement is occurring within the molten drop and that analysis of quenched samples provides more useful information on the state of the burning droplet than samples allowed to cool slowly to room temperature. Recommendations are made regarding future investigations into aluminum burning, focusing on the transport of reactants through the liquid oxide layer.

Author Information

Osborne, BP
The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia
Suvorovs, T
The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia
Wit, JD
The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia
Steinberg, TA
The University of Queensland, St. Lucia, QLD, Australia
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 151–163
DOI: 10.1520/STP11586S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5489-6
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0998-8