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Title: Piezoelectric Ignition of Nanocomposite Energetic Materials

Piezoelectric initiators are a unique form of ignition for energetic material because the current and voltage are tied together by impact loading on the crystal. This study examines the ignition response of an energetic composite composed of aluminum and molybdenum trioxide nanopowders to the arc generated from a lead zirconate and lead titanate piezocrystal. The mechanical stimuli used to activate the piezocrystal varied to assess ignition voltage, power, and delay time of aluminum–molybdenum trioxide for a range of bulk powder densities. Results show a high dielectric strength leads to faster ignition times because of the higher voltage delivered to the energetic. Ignition delay is under 0.4 ms, which is faster than observed with thermal or shock ignition. Electric ignition of composite energetic materials is a strong function of interparticle connectivity, and thus the role of bulk density on electrostatic discharge ignition sensitivity is a focus of this study. Results show that the ignition delay times are dependent on the powder bulk density with an optimum bulk density of 50%. Packing fractions and electrical conductivity were analyzed and aid in explaining the resulting ignition behavior as a function of bulk density.
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0748--4658
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Propulsion and Power; Journal Volume: 30; Journal Issue: 1
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; composite energetic materials; ignition; initiation; nano; piezo; piezocrystal; PZT; thermite