Reaction Mechanism of Aluminum-Particle-Air Detonation


  1. Zhang, F.
  2. Gerrard, K.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN);MARTEC Ltd, Halifax NS (CAN)
Both in-tube and unconfined experimental evidence showed strong dependence of micrometric aluminum-air detonability on initial pressure and highly nonlinear behavior of abrupt deflagration-to-detonation transition, thus indicating dependence of the aluminum reaction mechanism of the detonation waves on chemical kinetics. On the other hand, the observed aluminum-air detonation manifested itself in a weak transverse wave structure, as revealed by the small-amplitude oscillation that rapidly degenerates behind the shock front in the pressure histories. This suggests a functional dependence that is weaker than the nonlinear Arrhenius kinetic behavior for the later aluminum combustion. Hence, a surface kinetic oxidation and diffusion hybrid reaction model with a degree of condensed detonation products was suggested, and the unsteady two-phase fluid dynamics modeling showed the success of the hybrid reaction model, capable of capturing both the kinetics-limited transient processes of detonation initiation, abrupt deflagration-to-detonation transition and detonation instability, and the diffusion-limited combustion of aluminum in the long reaction zone, supporting the weak transverse wave structure.
Report Number
DRDC-SUFFIELD-SL-2009-041 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
27 Aug 2009
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Journal of Propulsion and Power, vol 25, no 4, 2009, p 845-858
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