Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Materials Chemistry A


Fluoropolymers have long served as potent oxidizers for metal-based pyrolant designs for the preparation of energetic materials. Commercial perfluoropolyethers (PFPEs), specifically known as Fomblins®, are well-known to undergo accelerated thermal degradation in the presence of native metals and Lewis acids producing energetically favorable metal fluoride species. This study employs the use of PFPEs to coat nano-aluminum (n-Al) and under optimized stoichiometric formulations, harness optimized energy output. The PFPEs serve as ideal oxidizers of n-Al because they are non-volatile, viscous liquids that coat the particles thereby maximizing surface interactions. The n-Al/PFPE blended combination is required to interface with an epoxy-based matrix in order to engineer a moldable/machinable, structurally viable epoxy composite without compromising bulk thermal/mechanical properties. Computational modeling/simulation supported by thermal experimental studies showed that the n-Al/PFPE blended epoxy composites produced an energetic material that undergoes latent thermal metal-mediated oxidation. Details of the work include the operationally simple, scalable synthetic preparation, thermal properties from DSC/TGA, and SEM/TEM of these energetic metallized nanocomposite systems. Post-burn analysis using powder XRD of this pyrolant system confirms the presence of the predominating exothermic metal-mediated oxidized AlF3 species in addition to the production of Al2O3 and Al4C3 during the deflagration reaction. Details of this first epoxy-based energetic nanocomposite entrained with a thermally reactive formulation of PFPE coated n-Al particles are presented herein.


SCK acknowledges funding for this work made available by Air Force
Research Laboratory, Eglin Air Force Base, sponsored by the US
Air Force Academy under agreement number FA7000-10-2-0038.