Method development and validation for measuring the particle size distribution of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) powders.

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Currently, the critical particle properties of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) that influence deflagration-to-detonation time in exploding bridge wire detonators (EBW) are not known in sufficient detail to allow development of a predictive failure model. The specific surface area (SSA) of many PETN powders has been measured using both permeametry and gas absorption methods and has been found to have a critical effect on EBW detonator performance. The permeametry measure of SSA is a function of particle shape, packed bed pore geometry, and particle size distribution (PSD). Yet there is a general lack of agreement in PSD measurements between laboratories, raising concerns ... continued below

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132 p.

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Young, Sharissa Gay September 1, 2005.

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Currently, the critical particle properties of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) that influence deflagration-to-detonation time in exploding bridge wire detonators (EBW) are not known in sufficient detail to allow development of a predictive failure model. The specific surface area (SSA) of many PETN powders has been measured using both permeametry and gas absorption methods and has been found to have a critical effect on EBW detonator performance. The permeametry measure of SSA is a function of particle shape, packed bed pore geometry, and particle size distribution (PSD). Yet there is a general lack of agreement in PSD measurements between laboratories, raising concerns regarding collaboration and complicating efforts to understand changes in EBW performance related to powder properties. Benchmarking of data between laboratories that routinely perform detailed PSD characterization of powder samples and the determination of the most appropriate method to measure each PETN powder are necessary to discern correlations between performance and powder properties and to collaborate with partnering laboratories. To this end, a comparison was made of the PSD measured by three laboratories using their own standard procedures for light scattering instruments. Three PETN powder samples with different surface areas and particle morphologies were characterized. Differences in bulk PSD data generated by each laboratory were found to result from variations in sonication of the samples during preparation. The effect of this sonication was found to depend on particle morphology of the PETN samples, being deleterious to some PETN samples and advantageous for others in moderation. Discrepancies in the submicron-sized particle characterization data were related to an instrument-specific artifact particular to one laboratory. The type of carrier fluid used by each laboratory to suspend the PETN particles for the light scattering measurement had no consistent effect on the resulting PSD data. Finally, the SSA of the three powders was measured using both permeametry and gas absorption methods, enabling the PSD to be linked to the SSA for these PETN powders. Consistent characterization of other PETN powders can be performed using the appropriate sample-specific preparation method, so that future studies can accurately identify the effect of changes in the PSD on the SSA and ultimately model EBW performance.

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132 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2005-6487
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/893153 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 893153
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc884450

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  • September 1, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 8:03 p.m.

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Young, Sharissa Gay. Method development and validation for measuring the particle size distribution of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) powders., report, September 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc884450/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.