Date of Award


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Materials Science and Engineering


Stephen L Kampe


In this research, a modification to initiation aid ignition in bomb calorimetry that involves systemically blending levels of boron and potassium nitrate initiation aids with a bulk structural energetic elemental power blend is developed. A regression is used to estimate the nominal heat of reaction for the primary reaction. The technique is first applied to the synthesis of TiB2 as a validation study to see if close proximity to literature values can be achieved. The technique is then applied to two systems of interest, Al-Ti-B, and Al-Ti-B4C. In all three investigations, x-ray diffraction is used to characterize the product phases of the reactions to determine the extent and identity of the product phases and any by-products that may have formed as a result of adding the initiation aid. The experimental data indicates the technique approximates the heat of reaction value for the synthesis of TiB2 from Ti-B powder blends and the formation of TiB2 is supported by volume fraction analysis by x-ray diffraction. Application to the Al-Ti-B and Al-Ti-B4C blends show some correlation with variation of the initiation aid, with x-ray diffraction showing the formation of equilibrium products. However, these blends require further investigation to resolve more complex interactions and rule out extraneous variables.