Processing of Metal Powders for Enhanced Combustion Efficiencies
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-072
Topic Title: Processing of Metal Powders for Enhanced Combustion Efficiencies
Proposal No.: N141-072-0106
Firm: MATSYS, Inc.
45490 Ruritan Circle
Sterling, Virginia 20164
Contact: Tony Zahrah
Phone: (703) 964-0400
Web Site:
Abstract: MATSYS proposes to develop a processing technology to maximize the combustion efficiency of metal powders and enhance warhead blast performance. Metal powder particles are typically prepared by inert gas atomization and have very clean surfaces. These particles are then exposed to a controlled amount of oxygen to pacify the surface and enable safe handling, packing and shipping. These metal particles are now coated with an oxide layer. In some applications, these metallic powder particles are intended to participate in an exothermic reaction and release energy upon shock or impact loading. The existence of an oxide layer requires the heating of the particle surface to higher temperature to break the oxide surface before the exothermic reaction can take place. The result is a delay in the reaction initiation and an incomplete reaction during a detonation event because of the higher temperature required for heating. Both of these factors contribute to a lower energy release than theoretical, and thus a loss of combustion efficiency. The initial feasibility will be demonstrated using instrumented-Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) to fabricate the specimens for blast chamber testing.
Benefits: The proposed program will have dual use commercialization with military as well as commercial applications. The material can be transitioned into several military hardware programs for weapon development where inert parts could be replaced by highly combustible metal powders to increase energy output. Commercial applications include potential use in petroleum exploration and oil well stimulation, and commercial pyrotechnic devices.