Kinetics of Fe2O3-Al reaction prior to mechanochemical synthesis of Fe3Al-Al2O3 nanocomposite powder using thermal analysis

Document Type : Original Research Paper


Faculty of Materials Science and Engineering, K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran



The effect of ball milling on kinetics of the thermite reaction of 3Fe2O3 + 8Al powder mixture to synthesize Fe3Al-Al2O3 nanocomposite was investigated using differential thermal analysis. A model-free method was applied to the non-isothermal differential calorimetry (DSC) data to evaluate the reaction kinetics according to the Starink method. The activation energy of the thermite reaction in the Fe2O3-Al system in ball milled 3Fe2O3 + 8Al powder mixture was determined to be 97 kJ/mole, which is smaller than that for non-milled powder mixture indicating the change of reaction mechanism. The change in the reaction mechanism could be resulted from the formation of short-circuit diffusion paths occurring in the precursors during milling. The change in the reaction mechanism of such nanostructured 3Fe2O3 + 8Al powder mixture could be reason of the formation of desired phases (Fe3Al and Al2O3), which such stoichiometric phases cannot be achieved by conventional molten state thermite reaction.