SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1997

Analysis of Metals Combustion Through Powder Production


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.

Author Information

Wilson, DB
, Mesilla Park, NM
Sircar, S
Corporate Research Development, Reynolds Metals Company, Richmond, VA
Hornung, S
Allied Signal Technical Services Corp. Team, Las Cruces, NM
Stoltzfus, JM
NASA Laboratories Office, NASA Johnson Space Center White Sands Test Facility, Las Cruces, NM
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Developed by Committee: G04
Pages: 225–239
DOI: 10.1520/STP12056S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5372-1
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-2401-1