Electrostatic Sensitivity of Magnesium-Teflon Compositions,
MORTON THIOKOL INC MARSHALL TX LONGHORN DIV
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Our infrared decoy flares are made with a magnesium-Teflon formulation. Under most circumstances, the composition is reported to have little or no tendency towards ignition from electrostatic discharge. Recent events at the Longhorn Army Ammunition Plant have changed this perception. Three fires have occurred at the press during removal of the RR-119 pellet from the consolidation die. As a result of analysis by consultants, our investigations, and test data the most probable cause is due to ignition by electrostatic discharge. Our particular situation was best solved by placing several Simco Co. ionizing air nozzles fore and aft of the pellet as it sits in the raised position. We have essentially encapsulated the system maintaining a positive air pressure at all times. This assures us of sufficient air velocity to prevent the ingress of gaseous or particular matter around the ionizing electrodes. Since we went to the ionizing air blowers, we have not had a pellet ignition at the press.