RADIATION-ENHANCED SURFACE ACTIVITY OF GAMMA HMX,
PICATINNY ARSENAL DOVER NJ FELTMAN RESEARCH LABS
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The surface activity of one-micron particle size gamma-octahydro-1,3, 5,7-tetranitro-s-tetrazine gamma -HMX is enhanced by cobalt-60 gamma irradiation. Surface activity was measured by a radiometric determination of adsorption of carbon-14 labeled stearyl trimethyl ammonium bromide STAB from solution. At doses ranging from 5 to 60 Mrads, the enhanced surface activity is shown to be related to dose and the evolution of composite gaseous products derived from bulk as well as surface molecules. Although a one-Mrad irradiation of gamma-HMX in vacuo produces no change in surface activity, such as irradiation of gamma-HMX in contact with water vapor results in an enhancement of surface activity that is comparable to the effect of a 15-Mrad dose. Exposure of gamma-HMX to NO2 and NO increases surface activity by 28 and 42, respectively irradiation of these samples with one Mrad gives no additional enhancement. The increased rate of thermal decomposition is not specific to radiation-enhanced surface activity promoted by water vapors but is found to be a function of gamma-ray interaction with bulk molecules as well. However, the increased rates of thermal decomposition of unirradiated samples of gamma-HMX exposed to NO and NO2 are attributed solely to thermally unstable reaction products of NO-HMX and NO2-HMX surface adducts.
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