Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics


Aeronautics and Astronautics

Committee Chair

Steven F. Son

Committee Co-Chair

Ibrahim E. Gunduz

Committee Member 1

Davin Piercey


Tailoring the reliability of impact ignited reactive materials continues to be an elusive challenge. Ideally, a sensitizing agent is preferred over device or reactive ingredient modification. Here, we report Asay shear impact studies of aluminized fluorinated acrylic (AlFA) and material sensitization via the introduction of inert particles. Initial Asay shear impact testing of neat AlFA50 yielded a general baseline for material ignition at approximately 120 m/s for the configuration considered. Ignition was observed to occur on the far wall or in corners indicating that a pinching mechanism may be responsible. A modified experimental setup was used to image the response of a designed pinch point. Based on insights from these experiments, AlFA50 samples were prepared with 15% glass beads by volume and were impacted at high and low velocities. Ignition events were then observed at velocities at least as low as 35 m/s and originated in the region of the face of the plunger rather than in corners. Further experiments with varying concentrations of the glass bead additives (between 10-30%) showed that the concentration could alter the level of sensitization of the material to low-speed impacts. The addition of glass micro-balloons was also considered but found to be less effective than glass beads. These results show that the impact sensitivity of these AlFA50 materials can be tailored by the addition of inert beads, such as the glass beads used here, to create multiple pinch points in the reactive that can result in ignition. The work presented in this thesis serves to increase the understanding of the ignition of aluminum-fluorocarbon reactive materials to mechanical stimuli.