Aluminum is one of the more thoroughly studied metals for flammability properties. Results with aluminum in both the laboratory and the field have been mixed and experimentalists have obtained significantly differing data through the years, partly due to differing goals for application of the data. The literature contains data from ignition testing, propagation testing and heat of combustion testing. Ignition testing includes: autoignition temperature, liquid oxygen mechanical impact, friction, shock wave, resonance, promoter influence, fresh-metal exposure, and particle impact. Propagation testing includes: promoted combustion, propagation velocity, flammability limits, and alternative oxidants. Theory has been developed, but has not allowed prediction of aluminum's performance in specific applications.
Data and theory from more than one hundred sources and previously unpublished results of the contributing author's companies spanning the last forty years are abstracted and commentary is offered on experimental design, results and application to current-day loss prevention design of aluminum/oxygen systems.