Heat -- Transmission, Nanostructured materials, Thin films, Multilayered


The main purpose of this work is to find a physical and numerical description related to the reaction of the multilayer nano energetic material (nEM) in dense film. Energy density of nEM is much higher than the conventional energetic material; therefore, nEM finds more applications in propulsions, thermal batteries, material synthesis, nano igniters, waste disposals, and power generations. The reaction model of a multilayer nEM in a dense film of aluminum and copper oxide deposits on a composite substrate of silica/silicon is studied and solved in different stages. The two main interests in this study are propagation speed and maximum temperature of the reaction. In order to relate speed of reaction and maximum flame temperature a number of other variables such as heat loss, the product porosity, and the reaction length should be estimated. The main aim of this study is to introduce a numerical model which estimates and relates these values in multilayer nEM in a dense film. The following is a summary of the execution steps to achieve this goal. In Part I of this thesis, flame front speed and the reaction heat loss were the main targets. The time-of-flight technique has been developed to measure the speed of flame front with an accuracy of 0.1 m/s. This measurement technique was used to measure the speed of propagation on multilayer nEM over different substrate material up to 65 m/s. A controllable environment (composite silicon\silica) was created for a multilayer standard thin film of aluminum and copper oxide to control the reaction heat loss through the substrate. A number of experimental results show that as the thickness of silica decreases, the reaction is completely quenched. Reaction is not in self-sustaining mode if the silica thickness is less than 200 nm. It is also observed that by ii increasing silica’s thickness in substrate, the quenching effect is progressively diminished. The speed of reaction seems to be constant at slightly more than 40 m/s for a silica layer with thickness greater than 500 nm. This would be the maximum heat penetration depth within the silica substrate, so the flame length was calculated based on the measured speed. In Part II, a numerical analysis of the thermal transport of the reacting film deposited on the substrate was combined with a hybrid approach in which a traditional two-dimensional black box theory was used, in conjunction with the sandwich model, to estimate the maximum flame temperature. The appropriate heat flux of the heat sources is responsible for the heat loss to the surroundings. A procedure to estimate this heat flux using stoichiometric calculations is based on the previous author’s work. This work highlights two important findings. One, there is very little difference in the temperature profiles between a single substrate of silica and a composite substrate of silicon\silica. Secondly, by increasing the substrate thickness, the quenching effect is progressively diminished at given speed. These results also show that the average speed and quenching of flames depend on the thickness of the silica substrate and can be controlled by a careful choice of the substrate. In Part III, a numerical model was developed based on the moving heat source for multilayer thin film of aluminum and copper oxide over composite substrate of silicon\silica. The maximum combustion flame temperature corresponding to the speed of flame front is the main target of this model. Composite substrate was used as a mechanism to control the heat loss during the reaction. Thickness of the substrate, the length of flame front, and the density of the product were utilized for the standard multilayer thin film with 43 m/s flame front speed. The calculated heat penetration depth in this case was compared to the experimental result for the same flame front iii speed. Numerical model was also used to estimate three major variables for a range of 30-60 m/s. In fact, the maximum combustion flame temperature that corresponds to flame speed along with the length of the flame, density of the product behind the flame, and maximum penetration depth in steady reaction, were calculated. These studies will aid in the design of nEM multilayer thin film. As further numerical and experimental results are obtained for different nEM thicknesses, a unified model involving various parameters can be developed.


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Graduation Date





Kumar, Ranganathan


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Engineering and Computer Science


Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering








Release Date

December 2010

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering and Computer Science -- Dissertations, Academic

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Engineering Commons