FUNDAMENTALS OF LIQUID PROPELLANT SENSITIVITY
Quarterly rept. no. 3, 22 Dec 60-21 Mar 61.
IIT RESEARCH INST CHICAGO ILL
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Two experimental techniques are being used to study the sensitivity of liquid propellant systems 1 pure environmental shock testing and 2 flash photolysis. Progress on the shock tube phase has been hindered by the inability to obtain reproducible results with nitroglycerine as the test system. Although some of the difficulties were traced to the instrumentation, others are still unresolved. Chlorine heptoxide, which is more sensitive than nitroglycerine, will be used in tests designed to identify and control the variables in the shock-initiated detonation process. Nitroglycerine, nitromethane and propylnitrate are the liquid systems being used in the flash photolysis study. Nitroglycerine irradiated by an ultraviolet source initially fumes and ultimately either decomposes or explodes, depending on the time and intensity of the irradiation. These results lead to the conclusion that thermal degradation of the light energy occurs in the initiation process. Comparisons between the application of thermal theory and such photolytic initiations appear to support this conclusion. Author