The ignition temperature of the Al–CuO thermite was measured using DTA at a scan rate of 50 °C min−1 in a
nitrogen atmosphere. Thermite reactions are difficult to start as they require very high temperatures for ignition,
e.g. for Al–CuO thermite comprising micron particles it is ca. 940 °C. Itwas found that the ignition temperature is
significantly reduced when the binary Si–Bi2O3 system is added as sensitizer. Further improvement is achieved
when the reagents are nano-sized powders. For the composition Al+CuO+Si+Bi2O3 (65.3:14.7:16:4 wt.%),
with all components nano-sized, the observed ignition temperature is ca. 613 °C and a thermal runaway reaction
is observed in the DTA.