Tungsten Combustion in Explosively Initiated W/Zr Mechanical Alloys

Andrew Coverdill, Christopher Delaney, Andrew Jennrich, Herman Krier, Nick G. Glumac

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Tungsten is mechanically alloyed with zirconium and subject to explosive initiation in confined chamber tests. Transient pressure measurements and residue analysis suggest that a majority of the tungsten reacts within 10 ms in alloys containing 33, 57, and 75 w/w W (balance Zr). The product of tungsten oxidation is likely amorphous WO3, because no crystalline tungsten oxides are observed in X-ray analysis of the residues. These results suggest that the chemical energy of tungsten can be extracted efficiently from mechanical alloys containing as little as 25% Zr, resulting in very high-density structural energetics that release chemical energy comparable to TNT on a mass basis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-145
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Energetic Materials
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • mechanical alloy
  • reactive materials
  • tungsten
  • zirconium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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