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Title: In-situ monitoring of flow-permeable surface area of high explosive powder using small sample masses

To ensure good performance of high explosive devices over long periods of time, initiating powders need to maintain their specific surface area within allowed margins during the entire duration of deployment. A common diagnostic used in this context is the Fisher sub-sieve surface area (FSSA). Furthermore, commercial permeametry instruments measuring the FSSA requires the utilization of a sample mass equal to the crystal density of the sample material, an amount that is often one or two orders of magnitude larger than the typical masses found in standard detonator applications. Here we develop a customization of the standard device that can utilize just tens of milligram samples, and with simple calibration yield FSSA values at ac curacy levels comparable to the standard apparatus. This necessitated a newly designed sample holder, made from a material of low coefficient of thermal expansion, which is conveniently transferred between an aging chamber and a re-designed permeametry tube. This improves the fidelity of accelerated aging studies by allowing measurement on the same physical sample at various time - instants during the aging process, and by obviating the need for a potentially FSSA-altering powder re-compaction step. We used the customized apparatus to monitor the FSSA evolution ofmore » a number of undoped and homolog-doped PETN powder samples that were subjected to artificial aging for several months at elevated temperatures. These results, in conjunction with an Arrhenius-based aging model were used to assess powder-coarsening - rates under long-term storage.« less
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0721-3115
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 40; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 0721-3115
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; specific surface area; flow permeametry; powder coarsening
OSTI Identifier: