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Author: Subject: Initiating ETN mixed with KNO3 / NH4NO3.
holmes1880
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 14:31
Initiating ETN mixed with KNO3 / NH4NO3.


Summary:

KNO3 cannot sustain detonation on its own like AN.
ETN/NH4NO3 has been done, but isn't advisable
KNO3/Al/NM is plausible, but not advisable either.
Unlike PNNMAL, PN can add nothing to ETN, since ETN is already positive.


I didn't have high hopes, but this is surely disappointing. PNNMAL is still an interesting composition, IMO.




[Edited on 14-12-2010 by holmes1880]
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 15:34


if you add some kind of fuel (like aluminium and/or nitromethane the last being a smart choice as ETN could be dissolved in) I think it could work. KNO3 is known to detonate when mixed with nitromethane. But anyway I don't see any utility in this composition, if you want a nitroester dynamite just use a liquid nitroester like NG or EGDN. IIRC someone on this board used a mix of blasting gel/KNO3/aluminium or sugar.
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holmes1880
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 15:56


Quote: Originally posted by the Z man  


Well, the purpose is not to have a main charge composition, but rather a small 1-2g mix to act as a booster. Using ETN for main charges is expensive and unsafe.

I also don't want to contaminate ETN with Al or NM. The appeal of ETN/KNO3 mix is that it takes no effort to mix and PN is not as hygroscopic as AN, and it is easy and relatively safe to work with such a powdered mix. Plus, PN is pretty much neutral around 7. All very desirable when mixing with sensitive nitrate.

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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 17:39


There isn't much grasp of some basic technical aspects of energetic materials being shown by the topic of this thread opened on the same day as the poster joined this forum. It isn't much surprise that a topic lacking real merit is posted in the energetic materials section by a new member. This sort of empty topic posted by a new member is a pattern. KNO3 is a non-explosive oxidizer which does not undergo self-sustaining decomposition, but can be a component of a detonating mixture involving another material which is an energetic fuel having an oxygen deficiency. ETN doesn't have an oxygen deficiency and therefore will not function as an energetic fuel component of such a binary so there is no reason to expect any synergistic enhancement of either material in a mixture of ETN and KNO3. Possible binary mixtures of ETN having oxygen balance have already been proposed in another thread and that would be the appropriate place to respond to an existing discussion having any merit. The composition which comes to mind was a nitroester of propylene glycol which would be miscible with ETN to form a gel or plastique. Mixing a granular oxidizer with granular ETN would not necessarily be safe and could increase its sensitivity or adversely affect its marginal stability or both. So it is an incorrect and dangerous generalization to make about an untested mixture that it is "relatively safe". Observations included in the original and subsequent posts seem doubtful and unreliable. holmes1880 seems to be a new incarnation of dawson01912 who was recently banned for similar material as this thread.

The reply just above is also entirely counterintuitive with regards to suggested use of an ETN containing "booster" of 1-2 grams containing a proposed "mixture" of ETN. Any practical booster would be more likely to be 10 - 20 grams or more.

[Edited on 14-12-2010 by Rosco Bodine]
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holmes1880
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 20:10


Quote: Originally posted by Rosco Bodine  


Thank you for the reply. There was very little information available.
I now realize that KNO3 is not a self-sustaining ingredient, unlike NH4NO3. It makes sense why an oxygen deficient NM is a plausible mix with KNO3, although it is still a very poor explosive. PNNMAl is far more brisant and I would rate it on par with ANFO, but of course ANFO is 100 times cheaper, making the former a very impractical mixture.

I mixed ETN with KNO3 and left for a few weeks to observe any adverse reactions and no sensitization was detected from friction or impact tests, so I reasoned it was as relatively safe as ETN would be on its own.
It's obvious 2g is not a booster. But that isn't any normal sized cap either. Military caps aren't more than 1g.

[Edited on 14-12-2010 by holmes1880]
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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 20:25


The search engine for this forum is not entirely helpful unless you have a keyword hit that takes you straight to the topic. But this kind of oxygen balance discussion has come up before with regards to ETN and other energetic materials.
Generally when a nitroester is used as a sensitizer for NH4NO3, there will also
be an inert fuel added to achieve the oxygen balance. There are hundreds of
commercial formulations in the patent literature, and I think there were even
one or two ETN containing ammonia dynamites, which would be the thing you
are talking about with regards to NH4NO3 or similar energetic oxidizers.
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 20:40


I guess ETN/NH4NO3 is a type of ammonia dynamite. And it certainly is old news. Z man mentioned ETN/Al/KNO3...nobody can answer if ETN/Al are compatible and there is a stigma to Al/nitrate mixtures. Nobody cared to test it for sensitivity, so I ain't trying it either.
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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 20:58


For practical consideration it is fair to think of ETN as a crystalline cousin of nitroglycerine having a roughly comparable stability and sensitivity concern.
Mixtures of anything else with such a material as ETN should be considered
carefully and handled cautiously due to the chemical instability and the
physical sensitivity of ETN.
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 23:37


As a rule of thumb, molten ETN is as sensitive as NG, but I see your point. I get ETN to go off from 20cm hammer fall on frequent occasions(usually 2 hits: first compresses it, second gets it to go), especially the clumps of recrystallized ETN that haven't been shaved to a powder. I suppose that's because those small clumps dried up in such a way that their density is lower than that of a powdered ETN.

Nevertheless, I consider ETN much safer than NG simply out of storage stability and rate of decomposition. Thoughts....

[Edited on 14-12-2010 by holmes1880]
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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 13-12-2010 at 23:50


Compare the stability tests and other test data for ETN with NG.
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 05:22


NG
Impact: 0.2Nm
Friction: 36kp

ETN
Impact: 2Nm
Friction: n/a, but assume around 6kp(?)

PETN
Impact: 3Nm
Friction: 6kp

HMTD:
Impact: 0.6Nm
Friction: 0.01kp

TATP
Impact: 0.3Nm
Friction: 0.01kp

So, it is very interesting that while NG is practically insensitive to friction, its impact sensitivity is entire in the range of peroxide primaries. :o However, the friction sensitivity is still more significant in regards to safe handling, and we can see exactly why HMTD/TATP are just a hot little mess. I cannot find ETN friction sensitivity anywhere, but assume it's within the range of PETN(I never set it off by any type of rubbing).


I found a nice little book:
http://www.preterhuman.net/texts/terrorism_and_pyrotechnics/... :D



[Edited on 14-12-2010 by holmes1880]
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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 05:46


You should keep looking because ETN and NG are more similar and ETN is definitely friction sensitive.

Attachment: ETN pages PATR Vol. 5 D(cont.)-E.pdf (193kB)
This file has been downloaded 827 times

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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 05:52


Quote: Originally posted by holmes1880  
I guess ETN/NH4NO3 is a type of ammonia dynamite. And it certainly is old news. Z man mentioned ETN/Al/KNO3...nobody can answer if ETN/Al are compatible and there is a stigma to Al/nitrate mixtures. Nobody cared to test it for sensitivity, so I ain't trying it either.


There is a very small amount of research efforts made with ETN. What does exist is extremely valuable.There does exist research with MHN which has a somewhat similar sensitivity and as a nitrated solid alcohol, maintains as "family" equivalency. The aluminuinzing of most energetics have certain generalities that might be maintained; however raising the temperature of the blast per se' may have little utility with materials such as those.




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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 06:02


@quicksilver Was it you or microtek ? maybe who reported plasticizing ETN with propylene glycol dinitrate to achieve an oxygen balanced gel ? I'm sure i recall this, but can't get anything on a search.

Also, wasn't the attached paper your work ?

Sheesh I guess myself and Axt sort of awakened a "beast"
with this "new age ETN" stuff. However, it is an interesting energetic material.....so I suppose it would create a "stir" ......
(a very careful stir too for those who would like to stick around in this life a little longer) :D

Attachment: ETN-pics-Lab-pat.pdf (562kB)
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 06:13


I call some BS into question on that document. Those are some very old recordings........most data is missing.

Plus, we don't even know if it is recrystallized or not, I remember never getting DDT from ETN once recrystallized, but if you just get a bit lazy and not bother recrystallizing, ETN can be set off in a confinement with black powder. And it was consistent, to about 85%. NG is far more sensitive than ETN when it comes to impact, that's not to be disputed.

Roscoe, what is so dangerous about mixing ETN......just don't go crazy with it(like using drill mixer for 1 hour) and check the temperature to stay below 30C and nothing will ever happen. Mixing is good for preventing hot spots.......the temperature can be 25C on the thermometer, but on a surface you have a bugger that is 40C+ and then it starts....:(


[Edited on 14-12-2010 by holmes1880]
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quicksilver
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 06:23


I think MicroTek did the plasticizing ETN with propylene glycol dinitrate to achieve an oxygen balance. Those were my pics with a phone and a collection of notes. It's quite old stuff. The re-crystallization were fantastic! This as one instance that I wish I had some quality magnification. The process was from nearly anhydrous ethanol at temp (it was pulled from a vodka distillation asap. IIRC, that was done to clarify (loose the off-color) & actually a 2nd re-crystallization.

I didn't name the doc that name however..... but God knows what happens in stuff being passed about.

[Edited on 14-12-2010 by quicksilver]




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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 06:29


Quicksilver, I mean the document that Roscoe posted with ETN specifics mentioning friction sensitivity.

OMG, I used your document a lot to help with my nitrations and recrystallization. You were always confusing me because at first it would stay to nitrate 2 hours, then I read it was 6 hours. I wanted bigger yields initially, but now I don't care about the yield what so ever. Hey, you are 90% responsible for getting me into HE hobby. ;)


BACK TO DISCUSSION:

What ya'll think of PNNMAL........I've seen few videos on it, and while not entirely impressive, it is not a flash powder igniting with alcohol. I would rank it in the 3,000-5,000 VOD range. I'm not quite sure what's going on there, but it seems that what's being detonated is NM and KNO3/Al acts as oxygen donor/sensitizer. Correct?


[Edited on 14-12-2010 by holmes1880]
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 06:39


No, those were real "note" notes. I would have gotten a serious lecture had I used the brevity and carelessness which I type those with. The patents were what lead me into finding a very bizarre legal issue between Nobel and DuPont over ETN. Each wanted the actual rights but both (at that time in history) knew that sourcing the base material for nitration would not be cost effective. I never found out who really does (or did) have the rights to ETN!



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Rosco Bodine
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 07:13


Myers figure for NG compared to ETN looks wrong to me, probably derived from results from different drop test apparatus and not tested side by side on the same machine under identical conditions. The PATR data for ETN at 20cm
and NG at 15cm is more plausible and it was a comparative result on a BOM drop test machine, so no ambiguity there, unless it is a PATR misprint as sometimes does happen but it is rare.

Generalizations about the safety of ETN to friction and impact and mixing,
describing how you never get DDT from the recrystallized material, and on and on along the lines which you are describing is courting disaster. You can believe that
or you can be advice proof and take your chances.

[Edited on 14-12-2010 by Rosco Bodine]
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[*] posted on 14-12-2010 at 07:24


ETN is obviously not a toy, but it is not dangerous if handled properly and deacidified.
I've done 100's of impact/friction tests over months of storing ETN. Thing is that I never make more than 12g and when I store it, I make sure to keep it scattered on a nice flat sheet of paper, in batches no more than 5g each. Somewhat like teenies store TATP.
If ever used for initiation testing, 0.3g is plenty-#6 cap.

[Edited on 14-12-2010 by holmes1880]
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