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Fast circuit breaker based on integration of Al/CuO nanothermites

Abstract : Pyroswitches and circuit breakers play an important safety role in electrical systems. A miniature one-shot circuit breaker based on the violent reaction of a nanothermite is presented for safety application as protection against overcurrent, external perturbation and short circuit of a broad range of equipment and systems. This device consists of two circuits assembled together to define a cavity. An ignition chip is placed into this cavity and ignites, within less than 100 µs, a few milligrams of nanothermites powder. The resulting violent reaction interrupts a thick copper connection within 1 ms. After the presentation of the device design, fabrication and assembly, we demonstrate the good operation and reproducibility of the device (100 % of success rate) with a response time much lower than that of classical mechanical circuit breakers, which are slow. The response time can be tuned from 1.02 ms to 0.57 ms just by adjusting the mass of nanothermites from 5.59 to 13.24 mg, i.e., adjusting the volumetric solid loadings from 5.6 to 19 %. The nanothermite-based circuit breaker presented in this paper offers unprecedented advantages: it is built using only safe substances and is based on a low-2 cost mass fabrication process that is compatible with electronics. The proposed concept is generic and can be applied to a large number of applications (electrical storage, aerospace manufacturing, human safety, demolition parachute opening, road vehicles, battery powered machines…).
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Submitted on : Monday, March 26, 2018 - 6:51:00 PM
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Andréa Nicollet, Ludovic Salvagnac, Vincent Baijot, Alain Estève, Carole Rossi. Fast circuit breaker based on integration of Al/CuO nanothermites. Sensors and Actuators A: Physical , Elsevier, 2018, 273, pp.249-255. ⟨10.1016/j.sna.2018.02.044⟩. ⟨hal-01743964⟩



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