An unexpected mechanism for fast oxidation of Alnanoparticles covered by a thin oxide shell (OS) is proposed. The volume change due to melting of Al induces pressures of 0.1–4GPa and causes spallation of the OS. A subsequent unloading wave creates high tensile pressures resulting in dispersion of liquid Al clusters, oxidation of which is not limited by diffusion (in contrast to traditional mechanisms). Physical parameters controlling this process are determined. Methods to promote this melt dispersion mechanism, and consequently, improve efficiency of energetic nanothermites are discussed.
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