Sciencemadness Discussion Board

"ETN/DBSP melt matrix"

grndpndr - 2-6-2009 at 07:42

I came across this subject in the archives suggested by Mr A,(Under"ETN/PETN 2/5 melt composition)
searched and found no followup info.
Has anyone done anything with the ETN/DBSP- 5/2 melt matrix(rough OB estimate) as proposed by Mr A?
What i did come across suggested a very powerful matrix estimated by MR A to "rival high output military comp." useful for metal cutting such as SCs other use requiring compact very powerful explosives.Spherical/ball powders were suggested by Mr A however the following qoute begs another question.
To Axt,"you have experimented with hemisperical SC's so you should appreciate that every sperical grain of ball powder in an ETN matrix..focal point for many jets"
Would this suggest that for use in a CSC a flake double base powder would be superior to a ball powder because of the many conflicted jets caused by the energetic spheres of ball DBSP?
In any event flake or ball powder I would postulate that pistol powder would be the most desirable for this use as it contains far more NG or other HE in relation to NC.Bullseye
flake PP years ago was always touted as containing the most NG among the fast burning smokeless powders and while I havent kept up with current reloading practice and new powders its safe to assume the fastest burning PP's still contain the most energy.
It still seems to be a useful idea for a dense high output HE quite possibly a very good HE for SCs .Anyone have any info to add to the original post's?

[Edited on 2-6-2009 by grndpndr]

hissingnoise - 2-6-2009 at 08:21

Quote: Originally posted by grndpndr  
because of the many conflicted jets caused by the energetic spheres of ball DBSP?
[Edited on 2-6-2009 by grndpndr]

Grndpndr, exploding spheres don't produce energetic jets; I don't know why "Mr A" would suggest that they do, other than that he doesn't fully understand the "Monroe Effect".
Any brisant explosive that can be pressed into intimate contact with a shaped-charge liner will be quite effective. . .

497 - 2-6-2009 at 12:06

I think he might mean that the the spheres of DBSP will have a slower VOD than the surrounding ETN, so they may exert a miniature waveshaping effect on the detonation front..

hissingnoise - 2-6-2009 at 13:37

But wouldn't the VoD of the high nitration doublebase powder favoured by grndpndr be close to that of ETN and lead to minimisation of any waveshaping that might occur?
And would multiple conflicted jets simply cancel each other out?

497 - 2-6-2009 at 13:56

It's true it should be pretty similar, maybe 1000m/s lower.. Still on a small SC it might be enough to reduce its penetration considerably. I can't believe it could have much effect on a multi kilo SC though (which is probably when you would need to cut your ETN with DBSP).

Still, I think Rosco (aka Mr. Anonymous) knows what he's talking about. Maybe he can come clarify.

Rosco Bodine - 2-6-2009 at 18:28

Addition is the effect when colliding detonation waves meet as occurs in a length of det cord across a witness plate in a scenario like the Dautriche method for determining the velocity of a stick explosive. Not a nullification but an addition of the detonation wave reflected in a planar direction rotated ninety degrees from the coincident wavefronts.

What happens in a nuclear detonator is a momentary "point focus" of high pressure produced by many coincident detonation waves converging to produce compression of a spherical shell target which is virtually a point target. It is like a starburst in reverse.

What I was getting at is that there could be an amplification of the conventional explosive output from
a spherical charge which is initiated by coincidental initiation impulses all over its spherical shell perimeter,
which would produce a secondary reflected bubble wave effect which could be intense. This amplification could occur without any exotic efforts at producing exactly coinciding detonation waves such as in a nuclear detonator, simply by having a cast matrix of a higher velocity explosive containing as a filler spherical form particles of a second explosive, whose output could be
amplified as a result of the reflected secondary bubble wave from the core of each particle. First there's the
big bang and then there's the reflected bubble wave
from the point of origin like "starburst II" , and it's velocity
is expected to be higher than the first.

497 - 2-6-2009 at 20:39

Okay that makes more sense..

It would be interesting to attempt a side by side test to see if there was a noticeable difference in a witness plate or similar. It would be easy enough to try like 60g DBSP with 40g ETN directly mixed and cast, and then the same ratio dissolved in acetone to homogenize. Then evaporate the acetone and/or add water to precipitate, then cast the mix in the same shape, fire the two side by side.

To what extent do you think the DBSP will dissolve/mix with molten ETN?

Rosco Bodine - 2-6-2009 at 21:38

DBSP doesn't dissolve in molten ETN, though it may swell
and soften slightly. I have cast bullseye as a filler in molten ETN without incident, but the product was not storage stable long term. I like the ETN/PETN composite much better as it does seem to have good stability using the pure components which are also stabilized. Using urea as residue in crystallizing after neutralization with sodium bicarb and ammonia gives adequate stability there, and probably dicyandiamide or betaine would improve upon that. I didn't detonate the bullseye / ETN composite so I have nothing there to report. I do know that these
cast composites are surprisingly difficult to initiate as
compared to a compressed particulate charge, and they
also have a low velocity mode and a high velocity mode
of detonation, which requires overdriving them to get them to really do their stuff. Acetone is possibly not a
good choice of solvent with ETN, it may even react with it, I'm not sure as I didn't really follow up on this when doing crystallization solvent trials, where acetone didn't give clean crystallizations with ETN.

grndpndr - 2-6-2009 at 21:58

The thread in question suggested that ETN is a very poor
'solvent' for DBSP and in fact produces a matrix not a true melt/mix.I would fear that the admixture of acetone could cause excessive shrinkage upon drying?(I hope the terminoligy is acceptable) That is Iassume why the question of the spheres forming multiple conical charges in the ETN as I mentioned,I dont believe even the most energetic of the DBSPs produce the VOD of ETN judging from det velocitys of single base powders and 30-40% NG gelatin estimated vod(25-40% NG is the figure ive heard many times for bullseye and other fast burning DBSP's 1000mps slower VOD may be conservative). 497 suggested a similar theory as did Axt If i understand the thread so far in relation to the speres causing multiple minature SC's.To be honest ill have to
reread Roscoe Bodines post at least a few times to have an understanding of his post. Regards.

My apologys for the repeat of info i was typing while Roscoe was posting.

I neglected to mention the fact it was suggested the matrix would require a stronger detonator but a booster was never suggested so i would assume a strong composite cap would be sufficient?I also never did see an estimate of det vel but if it was suggested as a subdtitute for high energy mil comp. it should be substantial.
[Edited on 3-6-2009 by grndpndr]

[Edited on 3-6-2009 by grndpndr]

[Edited on 3-6-2009 by grndpndr]

Rosco Bodine - 2-6-2009 at 22:19

I'll absolutely guarantee that the ETN/PETN composite is a good bit beyond C4, pentolite, torpex, ect. especially in small charges. It probably rivals about anything except a few exotics where cost is no issue.

grndpndr - 2-6-2009 at 23:13

Quote: Originally posted by 497  
Okay that makes more sense..

It would be interesting to attempt a side by side test to see if there was a noticeable difference in a witness plate or similar. It would be easy enough to try like 60g DBSP with 40g ETN directly mixed and cast, and then the same ratio dissolved in acetone to homogenize. Then evaporate the acetone and/or add water to precipitate, then cast the mix in the same shape, fire the two side by side.

To what extent do you think the DBSP will dissolve/mix with molten ETN?

Ideally the above with as many variables as possible eliminated. Tamped?Along with a known HE using Identical conditions.ETN from the same synthesis?
I would also like to see both flake and sperical DBSP's of similar propertys In a cast matrix to confirm Roscoe's (MR A's)explanation of ball powders effect on det vel. Assuming it could be detected by observation alone.Possibly multiple spaced thin witness plates versus 1 thick plate would aid visual observations.

[Edited on 3-6-2009 by grndpndr]

[Edited on 3-6-2009 by grndpndr]

-=HeX=- - 5-6-2009 at 12:55

ETN does not (measurably) react with acetone in my experience. I also found that to get the BEST ETN one must put in a LOT of work. First off, I boil my H2SO4 for an hour, and filter through activated charcoal and glass wool. Then boil again, filter through glass wool. Then boil AGAIN. Sometimes I add some SO3 to it to kill off ANY water that culd be there. Next up, recrystallize the NH4NO3 TWICE. The erythritol is kept fresh and very very dry.

The reaction proceeds as normal, the crash water is distilled water. High grade Na2CO3 is used for neutralization, and it is then crudely recrystallid from Acetone. Next you make a hot, saturated solution of ETN in acetone and HOT FILTER it using vaccum filter. This removes insoluble contaminants. Next, recrystallize from acetone, and then from methanol. All crash-water is distilled. A wash with urea or diphenylamine solution helps stabilize ( I dont have a CLUE what the solvent for the diphenylamine is).

I have made a 'NIPOLIT' solvent cast explosive with 60% ETN, 40% NC on many occasions.

[Edited on 5-6-2009 by -=HeX=-]

grndpndr - 21-7-2009 at 19:26

Hex, could you share the results of the 60/40 ETN/ NC on a witness plate or simply by observation?Did you encounter SHRINKAGE on cooling that would affect a cast SC?Was the NC a IMR extruded NC single base the extruded powders often modeled after older single base powders the IMR series of improved military rifle powders. From a theoretical cost standpoint the firearms peopellant costs would at least = if not exceed ETN synthesis cost if the powder could be found at all.many here may be aware that the reloading industry/hobby is suffereing a politically induced panic/shortage something our hobby may very likely experience and not from panic buying but politics.
If the acetone doesnt affect the etn to any extent a composite of the 2, etn/should be able to easily be made but i would fear shrinkage similar to mekp/dbsp making use in a sc all but useless.

anything of value no matter how seeminly inconsequential might be of interest Hex, anything to add to this theoretical discourse?

[Edited on 22-7-2009 by grndpndr]

Boomer - 23-7-2009 at 11:43

I don't know about you, but personally I would hate to melt a solid nitrate ester that with the most carefull preparation needs stabilizers to be storage stable - at room temp.

The fact that a high NG content powder is prefered reminded me of some old experiments with solid nitric esters plus NG, back then as a binder/plasticizer matrix for RDX plastic. Needless to say that these compositions also surpass C-4. Don't even mention semtex with its soaring 30% rubber+oil content: "Vladimir cuts with inerts to the cap sensitivity limit, those Arabs will buy anything that goes boom" :P (G.L. Hurst).

At 40% NG/(P)ETN or NG/MHN (for Microtec) and 60% RDX (bimodal Xtals) the energy content is higher than C-4 even *without* taking into account the 9% binder, i.e. versa 100% RDX.

Above formulation can be changed towards a solid that gets mixable at moderate warming, and no need to worry you disperse the shock front via lens-effect of the slower DBSP. For SCs the homogenous front counts, and why not pack in all the punch you can?

The crystalline RDX will also sensitize the matrix to the point that a normal cap is all that is needed to make it go high order. The simple NG/PETN mix (IIRC Stettbachers pet) shows the same problem as gelatine, it gets inert. Others here were surprised how hard cast ETN was ti get going. I've personammy seen a ball of NG/MHN (the two most sensitive esters!) go low order from a (ca. #5) MHN cap, it was load, it moved lots of earth, but down in the hole the plate to be cut had not even a dent. :(

grndpndr - 24-7-2009 at 05:46

Porperly tamped it doesnt take a great deal of HE to make a line charge capable of splitting mild steel plate.IIRC it was easiloy done with a moderate crater under the plate using a kinepack type stoichiometric 4oz mix tamped lightly in a 1.25
bycycle inner tube.Easily split a 5/8 plate approx 6-8in long.
Substantially harder than mild steel its a steel used between steel RR track and the ties.Hardened to resist wear from constant track movement/'rubbing' against 'wear plate' confirmed by ballistic testing IE firearms,AP projectiles.