Electrostatic Discharge Sensitivity and Resistivity Measurements of Al Nanothermites and their Fuel and Oxidant Precursors


  1. Kelly, D.G.
  2. Beland, P.
  3. Brousseau, P.
  4. Petre, C-F.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Valcartier Research Centre, Quebec QC (CAN)
The sensitivity of nanothermites to electrostatic discharge (ESD) has been noted by many authors. In the present work, nanothermites have been prepared using aluminium fuels with oxide (O-Al), palmitic acid (L-Al) and Viton (V-Al) passivation and CuO, Fe2O3 and MoO3 oxidants, as well as binary oxidant mixtures. Fuel- and oxidant-based ESD sensitivity trends of O-Al approximately equal L-Al >> V-Al and MoO3 >> CuO approximately equal Fe2O3 are observed with binary oxidants affording intermediate sensitivities. In the majority of cases, with the exception of high proportions of MoO3 oxidant, nanothermites containing V-Al fuel are the least sensitive to ESD at > 0.156 J. Resistivity measurements have been made for fuels and oxidants and follow the trends V-Al >> O-Al Approximately equal L-Al and MoO3 >> Fe2O3 > CuO. V-Al resistivity of ca. 1011 ohm.cm exceeds that of the oxidants studied. An ESD insensitivity based on a reduced proportion of spark current carried by aluminium fuel is proposed which is consistent with observed ESD and resistivity data.
Nanothermite;Friction;Resonant Acoustic Mixing;Nano Aluminium;Additives
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2018-P013 — External Literature
Date of publication
01 Feb 2018
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Central European Journal of Energetic Materials, 2017, 14(1), p. 105 119
Electronic Document(PDF)

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