In order to enable the energetic materials to possess a more powerful performance, adding combustion catalysts is a quite effective method. Granular, oval, and polyhedral Fe2O3 particles have been prepared by the hydrothermal method and used to fabricate Al/Fe2O3 thermites. All the Fe2O3 and Al/Fe2O3 thermite samples were characterized using a combination of experimental techniques including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectrometer (EDS), X‐ray diffraction (XRD), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), transmission electron microscope (TEM), and high‐resolution TEM (HRTEM). The non‐isothermal decomposition kinetics of the composites and nitrocellulose (NC) can be modeled by the Avrami‐Erofeev equation f(α)=3(1–α)[–ln(1–α)]1/3/2 in differential form. Through the thermogravimetric analysis infrared (TG‐IR) analysis of decomposition processes and products, it is speculated that Fe2O3 and Al/Fe2O3 can effectively accelerate the thermal decomposition reaction rate of NC by promoting the O‐NO2 bond cleavage. Adding oxides or thermites can distinctly increase the burning rate, decrease the burning rate pressure exponent, increase the flame temperature, and improve the combustion wave structures of the ammonium perchlorate/hydroxyl‐terminated polybutadiene (AP/HTPB) propellants. Among the three studied, different shapes of Fe2O3, the granular Fe2O3, and its corresponding thermites (Al/Fe2O3(H)) exhibit the highest burning rate due to larger surface area associated with smaller particle size. Moreover, Al/Fe2O3(H) thermites have more effective combustion‐supporting ability for AP/HTPB propellants than Fe2O3 structures and the other two as‐prepared Al/Fe2O3 thermites.
Part of the book: Developments in Combustion Technology