Aluminum powder is widely used in various industries, including pyrotechnics, metallurgy, pigments, and energetic materials. Here are some key parameters to consider when dealing with aluminum powder:

  1. Chemical Composition: Typically, aluminum powder is over 99% pure aluminum, with trace amounts of impurities like iron, silicon, or titanium, depending on the production method.
  2. Particle Size Distribution (PSD): The PSD greatly influences the reactivity, burning rate, and final product appearance. It’s commonly characterized by a D50 value, indicating the median particle diameter.
  3. Mesh Size: In some industries, mesh size (a measurement of particle size through screens) is used instead of or alongside PSD. For example, fine pyrotechnic powders might be specified as 200 mesh or finer.
  4. Shape and Surface Area: Aluminum powder can have spherical, flake, or dendritic shapes, each influencing its performance. Flake powders, for instance, have a higher surface area-to-volume ratio, making them more reactive.
  5. Density: Pure aluminum has a density of approximately 2.7 g/cm³. However, the apparent density (how densely the powder packs) can vary significantly based on particle size and morphology.
  6. Passivation: Aluminum powder is often passivated with a thin layer of oxide to improve stability and reduce risk during handling. The thickness and nature of this layer can be a parameter.
  7. Moisture Content: Aluminum is highly reactive with water; thus, low moisture content is crucial to prevent premature reactions or degradation.
  8. Ignition Temperature: This is the minimum temperature at which the powder will ignite in air, a critical factor in explosive and pyrotechnic applications.
  9. Reactivity: Related to particle size and surface area, reactivity determines how quickly and completely the powder reacts, important for combustion processes.
  10. Magnetic Properties: Although aluminum itself is non-magnetic, some manufacturing processes may introduce magnetic impurities, which can be a parameter for certain applications.
  11. Hazard Properties: Aluminum powder is flammable and requires careful handling. Knowledge of its flammability, explosiveness, and toxicity is essential for safe use.
  12. Storage Conditions: Due to its reactivity, aluminum powder should be stored in a dry, cool place away from sources of ignition and oxidizers. Storage instructions can also be considered a parameter for practical use.

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