The reaction products were examined by electron microscopy and X-

The reaction products were examined by electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction in order to identify their chemical compositions and microstructures. Methods Alumina-passivated Al nanoparticles with a diameter range of 50 to 120 nm were purchased from Sigma-Aldrich Corporation (St. Louis, MO, USA). These nanoparticles were handled in an argon-filled glove box before being mixed with the oxidizer. The thickness of the oxide shell was about 5 to 8 nm which agrees with the reported data on passivated Al nanoparticles [41, 42]. By assuming the averaged nanoparticle diameter of 80 nm, this shell thickness indicates that the content of Al is about 50%. NiO nanowires were synthesized by

a hydrothermal method; their average diameters were approximately 20 nm, and their lengths were several microns. Hydrothermal synthesis involved two see more major steps. First, NiOH PRN1371 nanostructures were formed at 120°C in a weak GSK126 supplier alkaline solution when Ni(NO3) reacted with a Ni source. NiO nanowires were then produced by annealing NiOH nanostructures at 500°C

for 1 h at ambient atmosphere. The two reactants were then mixed together and ground in a 50-mL beaker in air; 10 mL of isopropanol was then added to the beaker, and the suspension was mixed in an ultrasound bath for 2 h. The suspension was then stir dried on a hot-plate stirrer. The dried powder was carefully scraped from the beaker wall and ground in an alumina mortar. Subsequently, the powder was pressed into

a stainless steel die to make a pellet with a diameter of 3 mm and a height of 0.7 mm. It is worthwhile to mention that a few thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) trails were made in order to fully oxidize the Al nanoparticles in air for determining the content of Al in those particles. The results were however quite uncertain due to the low penetration of O2 into the core of these nanoparticles. Six different compositions indicated in Table 1 were prepared. For each composition, two MTMR9 samples were tested. The weight ratios of NiO in these composites were used to calculate the fuel-to-oxidizer equivalence ratio Φ, defined in this study by the following: (1) where is the measured mass ratio of the fuel to oxidizer and is the stoichiometric ratio calculated from the following thermite reaction between Al and NiO: (2) Table 1 Compositions of six Al nanoparticle and NiO nanowire composites Sample Composition Weight percentage of NiO nanowires (%) Equivalence ratio ( Φ )a A Al-NiO 9 18 B Al-NiO 20 7 C Al-NiO 26 5 D Al-NiO 33 3.5 E Al-NiO 38 2.8 F Al-NiO 50 1.7 aCalculated by the Al content of 42%. In this study, the equivalence ratios were calculated from the mass ratio of Al nanoparticles to oxidizer nanowires by taking into account the mass of the alumina shell. For this purpose, a base hydrolysis method was used to determine the amount of active aluminum in Al nanoparticles [43].

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