Ignition and combustion of aluminum particles in shocked H2O/O2/Ar and CO2/O2/Ar mixtures

James Servaites, Herman Krier, J. C. Melcher, R. L. Burton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Small aluminum particles (5-10 μm) are ignited in atmospheres consisting of Ar and varying amounts of H2O, CO2, and O2 at the endwall of a shock tube to study the burning characteristics in various combinations of these oxidizers. A reflected shock is used to obtain pressures of ∼8.5 atm and temperatures of ∼2600 K. Visible wavelength emission spectra are recorded by using a spectrometer coupled to a streak camera, and two photodetectors record intensity vs. time at AlO emission wavelengths of 486 and 514 nm. The streak camera allows recording of multiple time-resolved spectra at rates of 100 μs per spectrum. Aluminum particles ignited in mixtures of CO2/O2/Ar exhibited a burn time of about one half that of an atmosphere containing only a mixture of O2/Ar, holding the argon constant at 40%. In addition, as CO2 was substituted for O2 in successive experiments, a nonlinear relationship, as a function of the gas composition, was observed for ignition delay time and burn time. Within mixtures of H2O/O2/Ar, two distinct burning stages are visible for the combusting aluminum particles. As an increasing amount of H2O was substituted for O2 in separate tests, a second distinct burning stage developed. Spectroscopic data recorded during such experiments portray AlO emission during both combustion stages. Aluminum particles combusted in a mixture of H2O/Ar show burn times 2 to 5 times greater than those from CO2/O2/Ar mixtures, and ignition delay times 3 to 6 times greater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1040-1054
Number of pages15
JournalCombustion and Flame
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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