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Title: High Explosives

  1. Los Alamos National Laboratory
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Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
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Conference: Summer Physics Camp for Young Women presentation ; 2017-06-15 - 2017-06-15 ; Pojoaque, New Mexico, United States
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Campbell, Maria Cristina. High Explosives. United States: N. p., 2017. Web.
Campbell, Maria Cristina. High Explosives. United States.
Campbell, Maria Cristina. Mon . "High Explosives". United States. doi:.
title = {High Explosives},
author = {Campbell, Maria Cristina},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon Jun 12 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Mon Jun 12 00:00:00 EDT 2017}

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  • The current method of disposal of large quantities of high explosives (HE), or other energetic materials, by open-pit burning, or detonation is becoming an environmentally unacceptable form of bulk destruction of these materials because of the products of incomplete combustion of HE. The Molten Salt Destruction (MSD) Process has been demonstrated for the destruction of HE and HE-containing wastes. MSD converts the organic constituents (including the HE) of the waste into non-hazardous substances such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen and water. In the case of HE-containing mixed wastes, any actinides in the waste are retained in the molten salt, thus convertingmore » the mixed wastes into low-level wastes. The destruction of HE is accomplished by introducing it, together with oxidant gases, into a crucible containing a molten salt, such as sodium carbonate, or a suitable mixture of the carbonates of sodium, potassium, lithium and calcium. The temperature of the molten salt can be between 400 to 900[degree]C. The combustible organic components of the waste react with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide, nitrogen and steam. The inorganic components, in the form of ash,'' are captured in the molten salt bed as a result of wetting and dissolution of the ash. Halogenated hydrocarbons in the waste generate acid gases such as hydrogen chloride during the pyrolysis and combustion processes occurring in the melt. These are scrubbed by the alkaline carbonates, producing steam and the from the process are sent through standard off-gas clean-up processing before being, released to the atmosphere. At the end of the process runs, the salt is separated into carbonates, non-carbonate salts, and ash. The carbonates are recycled to the process, the stable salts are disposal of appropriately.« less
  • Experimental tests have been undertaken to determine safe levels of laser exposure on bare high explosive (HE) samples and on common metals used in intimate contact with HE. Laser light is often focused on bare HE and upon metals in contact with HE during alignment procedures and experimental metrology experiments. This paper looks at effects caused by focusing laser beams at high energy densities directly onto the surface of various bare HE samples. Laser energy densities (fluence) exceeding 19 kilowatts/cm{sup 2} using a 5-milliwatt, 670 nm, cw laser diode were generated by focusing the laser down to a spot sizemore » diameter of 4 microns. Upon careful inspection, no laser damage was observed in any of the HE samples illuminated at this fluence level. Direct laser exposure of metals directly contacting HE surfaces was also tested. Laser energy densities (fluence) varying from 188 Watts/cm{sup 2} to 12.7 KW/cm{sup 2} were generated using an 11-Watt, 532 nm frequency-doubled Nd:YAG cw laser with focal spot size diameters as small as 100 microns. These measurements look at the temperature rise of the surface of the metal in contact with HE when laser energy is incident on the opposite side of the metal. The temperature rise was experimentally measured as a function of incident laser power, spot size, metal composition and metal thickness. Numerical simulations were also performed to solve the two-dimensional heat flow problem for this experimental geometry. In order to simplify the numerical simulation to allow representation of a large number of physical cases, the equations used in the simulation are expressed in terms of dimensionless variables. The normalized numerical solutions are then compared to the various experimental configurations utilized. Calculations and experiment agree well over the range measured. Safety guidelines for alignment laser illumination upon bare HE are outlined.« less
  • Isotherms of unreacted high explosives (HMX, RDX, and PETN) have been determined to quasi-hydrostatic high pressures below 45 GPa, by using a diamond-anvil cell angle-resolved synchrotron x-ray diffraction method. The equation-of-state parameters (bulk modulus B o, and its derivatives B ' ) are presented for the 3rd-order Birch-Murnaghan formula based on the measured isotherms. The results are also used to retrieve unreacted Hugoniots in these high explosives and to develop the equations of state and kinetic models for composite high explolsivcs such as XTX-8003 and LX-04. The evidence of shear-induced chemistry of HMX in non-hydrostatic conditions is also presented.
  • A high energy explosive with an unusually low detonation velocity has been formulated for metal acceleration applications. This plastic-bonded explosive contains HMX, potassium perchlorate, aluminum and estane. Its energy is comparable to octol, yet its detonation velocity is only 7.4 mm/ This appears to be near the minimum detonation velocity that one can attain and still maintain a metal accelerating ability equivalent to octol.
  • The Fabry Perot has become an important and valuable tool by which explosive performance information can be obtained relatively easily and inexpensively. Principle uses of the Fabry Perot have been free surface, and particle velocity measurements in one dimensional studies of explosive performance. In the cylinder test, it has been very useful to resolve early wall motions. We have refined methods of characterizing new explosives i.e. equation of state, C-J pressure, via the cylinder shot, flat plate, and particle velocity techniques. All of these use Fabry Perot as one of the principle diagnostics. Each of these experimental techniques are discussedmore » briefly and some of the results obtained. Modeling developed to fit Fabry-Perot results are described along with future testing.« less