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

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

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Small aluminum particles (5-10 μm) are ignited in atmospheres consisting of Ar and varying amounts of H2O, CO2 and O, 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 using a spectrometer coupled to a streak camera, and two photodetectors record intensity versus time at A1O emission wavelengths of 486 and 514 nm. The streak camera allows recording of multiple time-resolved spectra at rates of 100μs 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 non-linear relationship 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 A1O emission during both combustion stages. Aluminum particles combusted in a mixture of H2O/Ar show burn times 2-5 times greater than those from CO2/O2/Ar mixtures, and ignition delay times 3-6 times greater.

Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2000
Event36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2000 - Huntsville, AL, United States
Duration: Jul 16 2000Jul 19 2000


Other36th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit 2000
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityHuntsville, AL

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering


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