Microencapsulation of Lithium
Final rept. 12 Feb-31 Dec 1985
SOUTHWEST RESEARCH INST SAN ANTONIO TX
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The U.S. Army Belvoir Research and Development Center requires protection of element lithium from reactive species especially oxygen during mixing and storage operations of lithium in explosives. Furthermore, it is required that the detonation not be hindered by the coating material. SwRI used microencapsulation technology to develop a protective coating for elemental lithium. The coating material studied was a blend of wax, PICCOLYTE, and polyethylene known to have good water barrier properties and combustion characteristics. SwRI prepared microspheres from a dispersion of micronized lithium metal in a matrix material the protective barrier. The process to form microspheres is carried out in an inert atmosphere to prevent the micronized lithium metal from reacting prior to encapsulation. Highly reactive micronized lithium metal was successfully encapsulated under this program. The encapsulated lithium dramatically increases the shelf-life and decreases the associated hazards of the elemental lithium. Experimental procedure required that the encapsulation be performed in an inert atmosphere lithium powder readily reacts with water, nitrogen, oxygen, etc. and that non-reactive coating materials were developed.
- Coatings, Colorants and Finishes
- Ammunition and Explosives