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Author: Subject: is possible to made castable insensitive ETN ?
Iron Madara
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[*] posted on 17-2-2019 at 21:44
is possible to made castable insensitive ETN ?


ETN is known to be sensitive especially at its molten state.

I’m thinking about mixing ETN with paraffin wax or stearic acid to make it insensitive even in very large diameters.
but I didn’t know what is the optimium concenteration of wax or stearic acid to desensitize it while keeping its brisance & explosive power.

anyone have experience of ETN mixed with wax or stearic acid? how much its power affected by such mixing?
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MineMan
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[*] posted on 18-2-2019 at 00:13


If you coat the crystals with 10 percent steric it should help a lot.. maybe add some graphite too for friction.
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Iron Madara
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[*] posted on 18-2-2019 at 10:14


how to coat crystals ? if I melt ETN with the stearic acid will I got the same result ? as I want to make castable mixture.
and how much it will affect the brisance/explosive power ?
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Fulmen
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[*] posted on 18-2-2019 at 10:41


Walk away son, just walk away. Molten ETN just isn't safe, and so far nobody has posted a tried and true method for solving this.

Don't take my word for it: https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0304389418312597?...




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happyfooddance
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[*] posted on 18-2-2019 at 11:37


Quote: Originally posted by Fulmen  
Walk away son, just walk away. Molten ETN just isn't safe, and so far nobody has posted a tried and true method for solving this.

Don't take my word for it: https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0304389418312597?...


From paper:

"This is the most sensitive material that we have been able to measure using our instrumentation, and it should be handled with extreme caution. TATP, a notably sensitive primary explosive that has been involved in numerous accidents [16,17], exhibits slightly lower impact sensitivity than molten ETN on our apparatus."
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hissingnoise
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[*] posted on 18-2-2019 at 13:08


Castor oil, in the correct ratio, is a desensitiser which will allow close packing, and being a fuel, it will correct the OB to increase explosive strength...

What's not to like?

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Laboratory of Liptakov
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[*] posted on 18-2-2019 at 14:13


Maybe it's time finally leave method for casting ETN.
My opinion is use 2% oil + 2% PIB. And instead melting methode, use pressing. At 4% this plasticizer- binder is possible create good density with minimal of inert binder. Pressing of course it require solid cavity.




Safety explosive Alfred Nobel 1867. Safety ecologic detonator Dr. Liptakov 2015.
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Rocinante
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[*] posted on 18-2-2019 at 15:23


As always, it is not about magical chemicals but about the technique.
You use 3 sturdy 10 - 15 l buckets without any cracks, you put them together (to prevent water leakage) and you pour a little bit of warm water (5 cm)down there to make your set up stable and to make the bottom "soft". Now, you attach your water-tight container (your final charge) on top of it - firmly with the ETN inside it. You pour the rest of the water - about 80°C into the bucket. You leave the room to return about a day later. Than you take out your device with cooled ETN.

The ETN needs to be pure (twice recrystalized) because impurities will decompose the hot, liquid ETN - deesterification from bases and so on.

No pouring or mixing is required. Don't tempt your fate and leave it alone.

10 % of "inerts" - the OB isn't stellar - will negate the whole reason for melt casting
also, I'd seriously avoid pressing any 1 g+ quantities of ETN without a reliable remote press to any high density. Dr. Liptakov's idea of pressing ETN to ~ 1.65 g/cm3 density via a press in 50 g quantities (you asked about big charges) seems to be quite dangerous - you never know if there are, for example, dry spots in the ETN mass - if you use only 2 % of oil.

Molten and semi-molten ETN is quite dangerous, so is EGDN, NG and MEKP - and 1/2 of this forum did some seriously dangerous stuff with these (3) compounds. So, I wouldn't demonize this particular compound - remember falls, impacts and liquid explosives don't mix.

And don't allow your melt cast block to fall or experience any shocks, i.e. use cotton wool, sturdy cases and so on.

[Edited on 18-2-2019 by Rocinante]

[Edited on 18-2-2019 by Rocinante]
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Microtek
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[*] posted on 22-2-2019 at 03:30


THIS IS NOT A TESTED PROCEDURE

If I had to melt-cast ETN, I would try mixing a small amount of it with another energetic (eg. PETN or maybe TNT) and see if the two materials would form a homogenous melt. If such a material could be found, I would test the sensitivity of the compound in the molten state, and if it was acceptable I would prepare the required amount by melting under water with agitation (when NG is suspended in water in such a manner, a number 8 detonator is insufficient to set it off). Then I would allow the material to cool with continued agitation, and finally filter off the resulting prilled mixture. Then it could be re-melted and cast as required.

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Iron Madara
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[*] posted on 22-2-2019 at 14:27


Quote: Originally posted by Fulmen  
Walk away son, just walk away. Molten ETN just isn't safe, and so far nobody has posted a tried and true method for solving this.

Don't take my word for it: https://reader.elsevier.com/reader/sd/pii/S0304389418312597?...


actually I post this topic because of this study:D

but when you compare 1 cm value of molten ETN by the value of molten TNT "a very safe castable explosive" which is only 7.8 times less sensitive here it seems that even such sensitive explosive can be desensitized to values can even exceeding TNT just by adding inert filler like wax, stearic acid,...etc.

but the question is what is optimal concentration ? and which material ? how much it will deteriorate ETN power ?



[Edited on 22-2-2019 by Iron Madara]
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OneEyedPyro
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[*] posted on 22-2-2019 at 21:08


I would say it's definitely possible but you'd need to find a desensitizer that is soluble in molten ETN, things like wax or stearic acid work fine with powders to be pressed but they would likely just completely separate during melting due to density differences and insolubility.

The danger is mainly in handling the ETN in a molten state, that's why I always melted it in the container I intended to detonate it in and did so remotely as to avoid having to be near it while hot.
Once cooled, cast ETN isn't so sensitive that it's frightening to handle (by my standards anyway).
I certainly wouldn't want to carry around a huge block of the stuff but in smaller charges (say <100g) I was never too concerned.
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OneEyedPyro
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[*] posted on 22-2-2019 at 21:08


I would say it's definitely possible but you'd need to find a desensitizer that is very soluble with ETN, things like wax or stearic acid work fine with powders to be pressed but they would likely just completely separate during melting due to density differences and insolubility.

ETN itself is a fairly dangerous and expensive compound, that's why it has seen little to no mining and military use.
If it weren't for the relative ease of synthesis and high power nobody would even be talking about it.
Compared to RDX and PETN, ETN has minimal allure to anyone looking for both stability and power.

The danger is mainly in handling the ETN in a molten state, that's why I always melted it in the container I intended to detonate it in and did so remotely as to avoid having to be near it while hot.
Once cooled, cast ETN isn't so sensitive that it's frightening to handle (by my standards anyway).
I certainly wouldn't want to carry around a huge block of the stuff but in smaller charges (say <100g) I was never too concerned about accidental detonation.

[Edited on 23-2-2019 by OneEyedPyro]
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MineMan
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[*] posted on 23-2-2019 at 18:09


I did cocrystilize ETN with PETN. I did this in the nitration phase. It’s a pearl like incandescent powder that has a bulk density like that of fumed silica. But I am too scared to touch it... as I have hear no reports on the two crystallized together... the great Philou said it might even be a different compound since it was done during nitration...

If you guys really want I can do some test. But the main thing is it looks like flour and it’s bulk density is so so low.
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Rocinante
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[*] posted on 26-2-2019 at 11:10


The bulk density of EtOH recrystalized platelets ETN is 0.3, I measured it. The same as non-recrystalized bulk TATP :D
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 26-2-2019 at 12:24


@Mineman: found a melting point ?

I concur with the bucket method. Though if you are less enthousiastic a smaller container might suffice ;)

Back on topic I might have a suggestion:
One way to desensitize PETN it is to mix it underwater with molten wax to coat the crystals. (Urbanski ?)

Why not do the same here ?

Oil was mentioned but there might be a butter idea ! :cool:
Shea butter, cocoa butter, probably not cow because of the very low melting point but still...

It's probably not a very good idea but since you started with a food ingredient why not end with another one ?!
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Iron Madara
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[*] posted on 4-3-2019 at 23:27


Quote: Originally posted by OneEyedPyro  
I would say it's definitely possible but you'd need to find a desensitizer that is very soluble with ETN, things like wax or stearic acid work fine with powders to be pressed but they would likely just completely separate during melting due to density differences and insolubility.



would mixing such sensitive explosive with a good amount of fine salt powder decreasing its sensitivity to be safely handled in molten state ?

there are some salts matching ETN density some of them are hydrated salts which make them a good candidate for making castable safe mixture .

[Edited on 5-3-2019 by Iron Madara]
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 5-3-2019 at 04:24


Yes, salt, pepper and garlic will decrease it's sensitivity.
Hydrated salts are best: they wont drink your booze.

Seriously:
- If you cant figure the answer to your first question you dont understand anything about EM and probably wont understand replies to your questions.
That seems to be the case...
- Why would hydrated salts help in ANY way to cast anything ?
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Iron Madara
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[*] posted on 5-3-2019 at 08:37


mixing sensitive explosives under water is known to decrease their danger !!

it seems water is a strong desensitizer .

what’s wrong with casting low melting explosive with hydrated salt ?
considering they have a boiling point far exceeding the explosive’s melting
point.

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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 5-3-2019 at 09:23


Ok, give it a try with Epsom salts. It's a heptahydrate.
Or maybe a percarbonate ?
KOH could do the trick as there is almost always 10% water.

Maybe you meant something else ?

Edit: Yes, all these ideas are bad. That's on purpose.

[Edited on 5-3-2019 by Herr Haber]
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OneEyedPyro
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[*] posted on 5-3-2019 at 09:26


"would mixing such sensitive explosive with a good amount of fine salt powder decreasing its sensitivity to be safely handled in molten state ?

there are some salts matching ETN density some of them are hydrated salts which make them a good candidate for making castable safe mixture ."

Adding a few percent of acetone to ETN lowers the melting point and sensitivity, until it evaporates at least.
Stirring in salt seems like a bad idea. I'd feel a bit uneasy about just gently stirring or pouring ETN by itself, in fact I prefer to keep a safe distance from molten ETN altogether.

Basically the only easy way you're going to significantly and reliably reduce the sensitivity of cast ETN on an amateur level is by diluting it with something inert or less sensitive that dissolves into the molten ETN which will stay fully homogeneously mixed upon cooling. At least as far as I'm concerned.

Even if you did get something like a finely powdered salt to mix uniformly those salt particles probably wouldn't be a very effective as a buffer, you'd likely just lose power while still having relatively high sensitivity.

TNT, picric acid, PETN and plenty other explosives that are less sensitive will dissolve into molten ETN.
An 80/20 mix of PETN/ETN is both less sensitive and more powerful than cast ETN by itself.

[Edited on 5-3-2019 by OneEyedPyro]
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Iron Madara
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[*] posted on 5-3-2019 at 11:26


now I got a better idea

paraffin wax have 40°C melting point while ETN have 61°C melting point

what if I just mix ETN with 15-20% paraffin wax and casting the mix at 40-45°C so ETN will stay in its solid state so it will not be greatly sensitized while the mixture is still castable !!

this concept is similar to cyclotol and comp B as solid RDX particles impeded in TNT so they combine castablity of TNT with power of RDX .

of course wax is very inert and expected to greatly desensitize ETN , but there are still some concerns , first is the large difference in density between ETN & wax , and second if such a large amount of wax leading to large decrease in explosive power of ETN.

any ideas ?
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OneEyedPyro
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[*] posted on 5-3-2019 at 15:06


Iron Madara

Such a mixture would probably be far too viscous to allow air to easily escape which would reduce density and thus power, that issue combined with the inert wax would mean a very drastic reduction in power. It would also be difficult to transfer into other containers without incorporating even more air.

Even at an unachievable maximum theoretical density, an 85/15 mixture of ETN and wax would be far less powerful than ETN alone at it's real world cast density.

Try mixing wax and powdered sugar at those proportions, that should have approximately the same mixing/handling characteristics assuming your ETN was a fine powder.

A while back I was experimenting with different semi-castable slurry compositions involving ETN, they could be heated to a fully liquid state allowing for easy pouring but once cooled they became a thick and high density slurry. I was able to achieve very good power and reasonably low sensitivity.
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Herr Haber
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[*] posted on 6-3-2019 at 04:28


Quote: Originally posted by Iron Madara  
now I got a better idea


You do ?

Quote: Originally posted by Herr Haber  
Back on topic I might have a suggestion:
One way to desensitize PETN it is to mix it underwater with molten wax to coat the crystals. (Urbanski ?)


That's the way to go, not the way you suggested that will only result in separating wax and your EM. Once your (P)ETN is coated / phlegmatized you can safely press it. No need for casting anymore.
Oh well, all you need is already on this page...
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Iron Madara
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[*] posted on 6-3-2019 at 14:27


Quote: Originally posted by OneEyedPyro  

A while back I was experimenting with different semi-castable slurry compositions involving ETN, they could be heated to a fully liquid state allowing for easy pouring but once cooled they became a thick and high density slurry. I was able to achieve very good power and reasonably low sensitivity.


what is your ETN formulation please ?
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OneEyedPyro
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[*] posted on 7-3-2019 at 21:28


Iron Madara

ETN and pure nitromethane was one of the things I tried, and probably the least sensitive.
I never recorded exact amounts but probably somewhere between 75/25 and 85/15 by weight.

The sensitivity was low enough once cooled that I couldn't get it to go off from hitting it with a hammer, even when taped to the hammer in a little pouch made from foil.
It would still be too sensitive for military or mining applications, but I was far more comfortable handling it in a molten state than I would've been with pure molten ETN.

It has a very low melting point, it's not homogeneous once cooled and the NM evaporates quickly unless sealed tightly in a container.
All of those factors make it a poor explosive compared to many other compositions, but it's still very powerful and safer than ETN by itself.

That's been probably at least a year ago, lately I rarely bother messing with ETN for anything other than to use it in cast mixtures with PETN.

[Edited on 8-3-2019 by OneEyedPyro]
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