Determination of the burning rate of small diameter aluminum wire.
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This investigation was involved with the combustion of 0.020" diameter aluminum in various mixtures of industrial oxygen and nitrogen at a total pressure of one atmosphere.
A combustion chamber was constructed similar to that which was utilized in previous investigations involving titanium, zirconium, iron and molybdenum wires. Prior investigations of the combustion of metal wires were made using conventional high speed motion picture photography to burning rate data. Because combustion of aluminum evolves oxide smoke which obscures motion picture vision, a method utilizing an electronic counting circuit and infrared sensitive cadmium sulfide photo conductive cells in lieu of motion picture photography was developed.
Burning rates of O.020" diameter titanium wire were determined for comparison with published information from the previous investigations. This data compared favorably with the published information.
It was found that sustained combustion of the O.020" diameter aluminum test wire occurred only in an atmosphere of 90 per cent to 100 per cent industrial oxygen. Burning rates for this mixture range are presented. With mixtures between 70 per cent and 90 per cent industrial oxygen, it was found that the melting rate of aluminum exceeded the burning rate, drastically limiting sustained combustion and causing rapid extinguishing of any flame which did occur. Below an atmosphere mixture or 70 per cent industrial oxygen ignition could not be obtained.
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