A two-dimensional numerical model for self-propagating reactions in Al/Ni multilayer foils was developed. It was used to study thermal properties, convective heat loss, and the effect of initial temperature on the self-propagating reaction in Al/Ni multilayer foils. For model adjustments by experimental results, these Al/Ni multilayer foils were fabricated by the magnetron sputtering technique with a 1:1 atomic ratio. Heat of reaction of the fabricated foils was determined employing Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC). Self-propagating reaction was initiated by an electrical spark on the surface of the foils. The movement of the reaction front was recorded with a high-speed camera. Activation energy is fitted with these velocity data from the high-speed camera to adjust the numerical model. Calculated reaction front temperature of the self-propagating reaction was compared with the temperature obtained by time-resolved pyrometer measurements. X-ray diffraction results confirmed that all reactants reacted and formed a B2 NiAl phase. Finally, it is predicted that (1) increasing thermal conductivity of the final product increases the reaction front velocity; (2) effect of heat convection losses on reaction characteristics is insignificant, e.g., the foils can maintain their characteristics in water; and (3) with increasing initial temperature of the foils, the reaction front velocity and the reaction temperature increased.