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Identification of Ignition Criteria for Low Vulnerability Propellants

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Final rept.

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This project involved three phases measuring the heat and pressure generated by various igniter systems, evaluation of the ability of these systems to ignite Lova in a closed bomb, and finally, sampling and analysis of the low pressure combustion products of Lova propellant. The primary goal of this work was to develop a diagnostic methodology to design and evaluate igniter materials for Lova propellants. To measure the heat output and pressure generated by the various igniter materials, a closed bomb was fitted with an instrumented copper liner to serve as a calorimeter. Pellets were made of each formulation, loaded into a primer tube and fired in the calorimeter. Later, tests were done igniting both small and large grains of Lova propellant with the primers characterized above. Ignition time and the reproducibility of the ignition time was measured and compared to the measured heat output and theoretical values for temperature, oxygen content and condensed phase content. The results show that a balance between heat content, oxygen production and condensed phase fraction is needed to get good, reproducible ignition of Lova propellant. Ignition time may be closely related to heat content, but reproducibility increases with oxygen content. The gaseous combustion products sampling experiments were done by using the rupture disks designed to fail at various pressures allowing the venting of the combustion products into a large vessel. Gas samples were analyzed using gas chromatography. These preliminary test results showed that the use of an igniter which has significant oxygen content drives the combustion products of the Lova propellant toward completion, i.e., equilibrium.

Subject Categories:

  • Physical Chemistry
  • Ammunition and Explosives

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