The evaporation and combustion of nanometric aluminum particles with an oxidizer MoO3 is analyzed. The analysis was performed to correlate individual Al particle gasification rates to macroscopic flame propagation rates observed in flame tube experiments. Examination of various characteristic times relevant to propagation of a deflagration reveals that particles below about 1.7 nm in diameter evaporate before appreciable chemical reactions occur. Experimental studies use Al particles greater than 1.7 nm in diameter such that a diffusion flame model was developed to better understand the combustion dynamics of multiphase Al particles. The results showed that it is unlikely that droplets will fully evaporate before reacting in the gas phase. A droplet evaporation and combustion model was further applied to quantify single droplet reaction velocities in comparison to the bulk flame propagation measurements observed in the literature. The diffusion flame model predicted orders of magnitude slower propagation rates than experimentally observed. These results imply that another reaction mechanism is responsible for promoting reaction propagation or modes other than diffusion play a more dominant role in flame propagation.

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