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Conference Papers Year : 2018

Insight in the burning behavior of aluminum nanopowders


Nanomaterials are innovative materials and they sometimes show unexpected behavior that could impact the determination of their safety parameters. In this work, aluminum nanopowder (40 – 60 nm) burning behavior was investigating by considering the influence of coating, preheating as well as the preparation procedure. These tests were performed in the INERIS SNANO platform dedicated to the evaluation of flammability and explosivity of nanopowders. They were focused on the evaluation of the reactivity and the ignition sensitivity of the nanopowder to hot surfaces which constitute one of the main sources of ignition of combustible materials. Once a hot surface has raised the temperature of a portion of powder to its ignition temperature, combustion reaction then self-propagates. DSC/TGA tests were performed to characterize both the reactivity of the samples and determine the oxide layer thickness of the particles, which has a direct influence on the thermokinetics parameters of aluminum. These results were put in perspective with available data in the literature to highlight the unique reactivity of this product whose particle size distribution is close of the theoretical critical diameter inducing pyrophoricity of aluminum. Layer ignition tests were also performed so that a deposit a dust layer of given size and thickness on a horizontal circular plate was heated to predetermined temperatures until a critical temperature for ignition is reached. Temperature values were ranging between 200 and 450°C. No ignition was observed however the dust layer showed a great ignition sensitivity to burning metal particles (sparks) and a differentiated burning behavior depending on the initial temperature of the powder. It is shown that the initial temperature of the powder has a marked influence on the burning class of the nanopowder as confirmed through VDI 2263-1 combustibility tests: at low temperature (<300°C), the aluminum nanopowder burns in a smoldering mode whereas at higher temperature (>400°C), aluminum burns actively with bright light emission of the burning zone. This type of behavior, which has been observed in the past for some microsized powders (Bartknecht, 1989) may have direct implication on the management of fire risks related to deposits of metallic nanopowders and special attention should be paid on the potential misuse of such test results to implement safety barriers (Agnes, 2018).
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Dates and versions

ineris-03239317 , version 1 (27-05-2021)


  • HAL Id : ineris-03239317 , version 1


Amandine Thomas, Bruno Debray, Ghislain Binotto, Yannick Ollier, Alexis Vignes, et al.. Insight in the burning behavior of aluminum nanopowders. 6. International Conference Nanosafe, Nov 2018, Grenoble, France. pp.85. ⟨ineris-03239317⟩


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