Progress towards a PETN Lifetime Prediction Model

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Dinegar (1) showed that decreases in PETN surface area causes EBW detonator function times to increase. Thermal aging causes PETN to agglomerate, shrink, and densify indicating a ''sintering'' process. It has long been a concern that the formation of a gap between the PETN and the bridgewire may lead to EBW detonator failure. These concerns have led us to develop a model to predict the rate of coarsening that occurs with age for thermally driven PETN powder (50% TMD). To understand PETN contributions to detonator aging we need three things: (1) Curves describing function time dependence on specific surface area, ... continued below

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Burnham, A K; Overturf III, G E; Gee, R; Lewis, P; Qiu, R; Phillips, D et al. September 11, 2006.

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Dinegar (1) showed that decreases in PETN surface area causes EBW detonator function times to increase. Thermal aging causes PETN to agglomerate, shrink, and densify indicating a ''sintering'' process. It has long been a concern that the formation of a gap between the PETN and the bridgewire may lead to EBW detonator failure. These concerns have led us to develop a model to predict the rate of coarsening that occurs with age for thermally driven PETN powder (50% TMD). To understand PETN contributions to detonator aging we need three things: (1) Curves describing function time dependence on specific surface area, density, and gap. (2) A measurement of the critical gap distance for no fire as a function of density and surface area for various wire configurations. (3) A model describing how specific surface area, density and gap change with time and temperature. We've had good success modeling high temperature surface area reduction and function time increase using a phenomenological deceleratory kinetic model based on a distribution of parallel nth-order reactions having evenly spaced activation energies where weighing factors of the reactions follows a Gaussian distribution about the reaction with the mean activation energy (Figure 1). Unfortunately, the mean activation energy derived from this approach is high (typically {approx}75 kcal/mol) so that negligible sintering is predicted for temperatures below 40 C. To make more reliable predictions, we've established a three-part effort to understand PETN mobility. First, we've measured the rates of step movement and pit nucleation as a function of temperature from 30 to 50 C for single crystals. Second, we've measured the evaporation rate from single crystals and powders from 105 to 135 C to obtain an activation energy for evaporation. Third, we've pursued mechanistic kinetic modeling of surface mobility, evaporation, and ripening.

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  • Presented at: 27th Aging, Compatibility and Stockpile Stewardship Conference, Los Alamos, NM, United States, Sep 26 - Sep 28, 2006

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  • Report No.: UCRL-CONF-224411
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 894357
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc886750

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  • September 11, 2006

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • April 17, 2017, 12:54 p.m.

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Burnham, A K; Overturf III, G E; Gee, R; Lewis, P; Qiu, R; Phillips, D et al. Progress towards a PETN Lifetime Prediction Model, article, September 11, 2006; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc886750/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.