Army developing plasma-treated aluminum nanoparticles to enhance the power and range of explosive weapons

April 5, 2021
To put it simply, Army scientists say this newly developed technique will allow smaller-sized explosive weapons to produce far more destructive power.

ADELPHI, Md. – Scientists at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and the Center for Nanoscale Materials at Argonne National Laboratory, say they have developed a new class of plasma-treated aluminum nanoparticles that could significantly improve future explosive weapon systems. The Debrief reports. Continue reading original article

The Military & Aerospace Electronics take:

5 April 2021 -- Army scientists say that adding a mixture of ultrafine plasma-treated aluminum nanoparticles can enhance the explosive power of conventional munitions.

Aluminum nanoparticles have extensive surface areas compared to their total volume and can produce high energy and extreme heat reactions. There's still a problem with the aluminum nanoparticles, however.

The surface of aluminum nanoparticles is oxidized naturally in the air, forming a thick alumina shell. This reduces nanoparticle energy content and slows the rate of energy release by acting as a barrier to the aluminum’s reaction with an explosive.

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John Keller, chief editor
Military & Aerospace Electronics

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