Exploratory Study of M-1 Propellant Dust Explosibility.
SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INST SAN ANTONIO TEX
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Realizing the serious potential hazards of dust particles generated when drying propellants, particularly in the new Continuous Automated Single Base Line CASBL facilities being erected, the Manufacturing Technology Division of ARRADCOM initiated a three-pronged attack to examine the problem. SwRI was charged to concentrate on the explosibility of M-1 propellant dust and, through a brief cursory set of experiments, to determine the minimum energy of electrostatic discharge to induce an explosion the minimum explosible dust concentration and the effect of moisture, solvent, temperature and particle sizes upon the explosion threshold value of each of three M-1 propellant concentrations. The result of this exploratory study of M-1 propellant dust explosibility was most definitive in that it demonstrated that severe flash fires and explosions can be initiated under certain sets of ambient conditions. Because of the exploratory nature of this study, it was possible only to identify the parameters which contribute to making an M-1 dust fire susceptible to an explosive reaction. Conclusions are drawn from the test program with regard to the minimum ignition energy and the minimum explosive concentrations of M-1 dust and recommendations are made for expanding this exploratory study into a more detailed evaluation. Author