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Direct Deposit Laminate Nanocomposites with Enhanced Propellent Properties

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journal contribution
posted on 06.05.2015, 00:00 by Xiangyu Li, Philip Guerieri, Wenbo Zhou, Chuan Huang, Michael R. Zachariah
One of the challenges in the use of energetic nanoparticles within a polymer matrix for propellant applications is obtaining high particle loading (high energy density) while maintaining mechanical integrity and reactivity. In this study, we explore a new strategy that utilizes laminate structures. Here, a laminate of alternating layers of aluminum nanoparticle (Al-NPs)/copper oxide nanoparticle (CuO-NPs) thermites in a polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) reactive binder, with a spacer layer of PVDF was fabricated by a electrospray layer-by-layer deposition method. The deposited layers containing up to 60 wt % Al-NPs/CuO-NPs thermite are found to be uniform and mechanically flexible. Both the reactive and mechanical properties of laminate significantly outperformed the single-layer structure with the same material composition. These results suggest that deploying a multilayer laminate structure enables the incorporation of high loadings of energetic materials and, in some cases, enhances the reactive properties over the corresponding homogeneous structure. These results imply that an additive manufacturing approach may yield significant advantages in developing a tailored architecture for advanced propulsion systems.