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November 13, 2023: Kyle Sullivan

November 13, 2023
4:00 p.m.
Room: 2150 Torgersen Hall
Dr. Kyle Sullivan,  Lawrence Livermore
Faculty Host:  Dr. Gregory Young

"Designer Direct Ink Write 3D-Printed Thermites with Tunable Energey Release Rates"

Abstract:  Thermites are a subset of energetic materials that are comprised of a metal fuel (Al, Si, B, etc.) with a metal oxide (CuO, Fe2O3, MoO3, etc) as an oxidizer. As the particle size and mixing scale is reduced, thermites can – upon ignition - liberate a rapid burst of energy in the form of heat, light and sound. Designing experiments to probe the fundamental mechanisms of ignition and combustion can be difficult given the small length and time scales associated with these complex heterogeneous reactions. I will present some of the studies of how we have tried to experimentally probe these phenomena using a suite of tools including high-heating rate electron microscopy, beamline work at the advanced photon source, and combustion measurements in burn tubes. I will also present some work on how we have used additive manufacturing as a means to manipulate the reactivity of thermites using architecture and composition. We have been able to construct an “Ashby diagram” to show how the energy release rate from an object can be varied almost two orders of magnitude by using architecture to modulate the energy transport and subsequent reaction mechanisms.

Bio:  Dr. Kyle Sullivan received his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland at College Park. In his thesis, he focused on developing a better understanding of ignition and combustion mechanisms in nanocomposite thermites. After he received his degree, he did a postdoc at Lawrence Livermore National Lab using additive manufacturing techniques to manipulate the reactivity of thermites. He currently is a Group Leader in the Materials Science Division, and his team continues to develop new advanced manufacturing technologies applicable to various kinds of energetic materials.