Reactive Metal Composite Materials with Enhanced Ignition/Deflagration Efficiencies
Navy SBIR FY2014.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2014.1
Topic No.: N141-072
Topic Title: Reactive Metal Composite Materials with Enhanced Ignition/Deflagration Efficiencies
Proposal No.: N141-072-0790
Firm: Reactive Metals International Inc.
340 East Church Rd
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania 19406
Contact: Bernard Kosowski
Phone: (610) 279-2340
Web Site:
Abstract: The deflagration/combustion efficiencies of impact initiated metal powders such as aluminum and tungsten when used in various types of ordnance to produce deflagration and momentum properties are significantly lower than desired and theoretically possible. The objective of this phase I SBIR effort is to prepare reactive materials based on both aluminum and tungsten with reduced ignition temperatures and improved combustion rates. Mechanical alloying using two separate technologies will be employed. Both low-temperature, high energy ball milling and hot milling techniques will be used to produce binary metal reactive composite materials. The powders produced will be blended and consolidated to obtain samples with varying embedded heterogeneities expected to promote the formation of hot spots and help initiating the reactive metals. Rapid and complete deflagration of the reactive materials will be achieved by using appropriate metal additives, i.e., Mg and Zr. In addition, W-Al composites will be prepared. The range of additives will be expanded in the future. Impact initiation of the prepared materials will be tested using a proprietary gun test apparatus with appropriate detection diagnostics. Impact energy initiation thresholds and reaction intensity will be monitored to select and further develop the most promising compositions.
Benefits: The ability to improve, control and tune the ignition, burn rate and combustion efficiency of impact initiated reactive metal composites with the energetics of aluminum and density of tungsten would greatly improve the value of these materials in applications such as enhanced blast, consumable structural components, reactive armor, and impact/shock igniter compositions as well as conventional explosives and pyrotechnics.