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Pure Appl. Chem., 2000, Vol. 72, No. 11, pp. 2177-2186

Modeling and experimental studies on the effect of thermophysical properties on field-activated combustion synthesis reactions

Z. A. Munir

Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of California, Davis, CA 95616, USA

Abstract: The influence of thermal and electrical conductivities and relative density on the dynamics of self-sustaining reactions activated by an electric field was investigated by modeling. Under a given field, the variation of the wave velocity and maximum temperature with normalized electrical and thermal conductivities and density exhibited a maximum at an optimum value of each of the three parameters. The results are discussed in terms of a Fourier relationship modified by the Joule heat contribution of the imposed field. A simulation was also made to investigate the configuration of the reaction front in systems that are ignited and sustained by a current. A transition from a volume (uniform) combustion reaction to a wavelike form was found to occur as the sample size is increased. These changes are also attributed to the interrelation between the thermophysical parameters.