Sensitivity Characteristics of Mixtures of Mono- and Dinitrotoluene with Nitrogen Tetroxide and Tetranitromethane
RADFORD ARMY AMMUNITION PLANT VA
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In the recovery of acids from the nitration of toluene to TNT, it is possible under certain conditions to obtain mixtures of nitroaromatic compounds, primarily mono- and dinitroluene with nitrogen tetroxide N204 andor tetranitromethane TNM. Since these mixtures contain rather strong oxidizers and a fuel, they have the potential of being highly sensitive liquid explosives. Studies showed such mixtures are not exceptionally sensitive to mechanical impact and friction or thermal initiation. However, these mixtures at oxygen balanced proportions are extremely sensitive to induced shock ard are capable of propagating explosive reactions at film thicknesses less than 0.5 mm. In the standard NOL card gap test, oxygen balanced mixtures of N204 with nitrobody exhibited an attenuator thickness of greater than 155 cm as compared to 3.8 cm for TNT. Shock sensitive mixtures of N204 and nitrobody can collect in fume and acid recovery operations. It is suspected that much mixtures were the cause of some of the explosions in TNT acid recovery operations in the past which have been attributed to TNM.
- Ammunition and Explosives