Convective burning of fine ammonium nitrate–aluminum mixtures in a closed volume bomb
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It is commonly assumed that the burning of ammonium nitrate–aluminum mixtures is much less prone to undergo a transition to explosion and detonation than similar mixtures based on ammonium perchlorate. However, this conclusion has been made for mixtures based on commercial-grade ammonium nitrate with large particles. In this study, the combustion of fine loose-packed mixtures of ammonium nitrate and aluminum in a closed-volume bomb has been examined. It has been shown that fine mixtures (ammonium nitrate with a particle size of less than 40 µm and an ASD-4 aluminum powder with spherical particles with a size of about 4 µm) undergo high-intensity combustion; in experiments with a stoichiometric mixture, explosions are observed. The explosions occur in the initial phase of convective combustion and lead to abrupt pressure pulsations with an amplitude of a few kilobars and to the destruction of the cup in which the sample is placed. The dynamics of development of the explosion has been analyzed in detail using numerical simulation. According to the results of experiments with varied parameters—the degree of dispersion of the ammonium nitrate powders, the aluminum content in the mixture, the length and diameter of the charge, and the level of pressure generated by the combustion of the igniter,—threshold conditions have been determined to separate the following modes: the absence of ignition, layer-by-layer combustion, or convective combustion with a transition into an explosion in experiments with a stoichiometric mixture.
Keywordsconvective burning explosion closed volume bomb ammonium nitrate ammonium perchlorate aluminum
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