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Fundamentals of Liquid Propellant Sensitivity

Author: Erikson, T. A.
Author: Grove, E. L.
Corporate Author: Armour Research Foundation
Corporate Report Number: ARF 3197-15
Date of Publication: 1962-11-26
Contract: NOw 61-0603-c
Original AD Number: AD-291 554

Parameters affecting the explosive sensitivity of liquid propellants are identified. With nitroglycerine as a representative propellant, background and experimental techniques were established for shock-tube and flash-irradiation tests. results of the two tests were evaluated in terms of a time delay, measured from the reception of an initiating stimulus to a detonation identified by a characteristic reverberating signal. in the shock-tube tests, and incident shock into 0 at an intensity of Mach 4.6 caused the detonation of nitroglycerine within 30 microseconds after the shock had been reflected at the surface of the sample. Generally, the time delay varied inversely with the intensity of the shock. Delays ranging from near zero to about 500 microseconds were measured. heat transfer calculations show that the surface temperature of the nitroglycerine increases by no more than 10 C under such shock exposure. In the flash-irradiation tests, nitroglycerine resting on a carbon black film detonated within 200 microseconds after receiving the output from a xenon-filled lamp excited at 4000 joules. For both tests, vaporization is concluded to be the rate-controlling step, followed by a fast reaction in the gas phase.

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