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Author: Subject: Desensitize ETN?
joseph6355
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 07:14
Desensitize ETN?


I was thinking. Imagine the advantages of an insensitive ETN.
Its a dense and powerful explosive, the main ingredient is very cheap, and easy to get. If you use nitric acid for the nitration, the final yield is greater than the amount of erythritol added, and its also fairly easy to synthesize.

The only problem, of course, is how sensitive it is to impact.
If only we could desensitize it somehow, ETN would make a very good secondary charge.
Of course, by adding other substances we would obtain a smaller density, thus making our charge produce a inferior effectiveness/explosive amount rate.

The question is how, or even if its possible.
I had this on my mind for some days after I remembered how dynamite is made.

[Edited on 2-11-2017 by joseph6355]
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 08:07


Poorly purified ETN is certainly 'touchy' but ETN, recrystallised from acetone (with a pinch of NH4CO3) can be safely handled...

Vaseline or castor oil enough to slightly moisten it will reduce ETN's sensitiveness!


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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 08:23


Quote: Originally posted by hissingnoise  
Poorly purified ETN is certainly 'touchy' but ETN, recrystallised from acetone (with a pinch of NH4CO3) can be safely handled...

Vaseline or castor oil enough to slightly moisten it will reduce ETN's sensitiveness!



Yes, I certainly understand that.
I have made a batch of ETN and I recrystallized it from ethanol.

Even in its pure form, ETN cannot be used as a main charge (lets say 5kg of ETN) because of its sensitiveness (2 nm).

Would plasticizing ETN turn it into a safer explosive to use as a main charge?
I'm willing to test.
I can recall the plasticization of RDX to turn it into C4. It uses motor oil, plastic binder and the plasticizer itself.
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 08:34


Generally speaking, plasticization of secondary explosives will always lower the sensitivity and increase handling properties which is a bonus.

The coating of the crystals of HE with lubricating inert material causes the sensitivity reduction.




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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 08:46


Quote: Originally posted by greenlight  
Generally speaking, plasticization of secondary explosives will always lower the sensitivity and increase handling properties which is a bonus.

The coating of the crystals of HE with lubricating inert material causes the sensitivity reduction.

It might sound like I'm stupid, but... What if I simply use ETN instead of RDX and make C-4, but with ETN?
I don't see a reason why it wouldn't work. There is no chemical reaction between the plasticizers and the explosive itself.
Actually, I think its possible to plasticize sand or any other grain-shaped substance.
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 08:56


You are correct, it does not have to be RDX. Semetex is a plasticized PETN formulation.
There are quite a few people on here using plasticized ETN for shaped charges and the like.
The energetic has to be in the proper form via special precipitation methods for optimum density though. If using fine powder it does not come out as dense





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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 09:13


Quote: Originally posted by greenlight  
You are correct, it does not have to be RDX. Semetex is a plasticized PETN formulation.
There are quite a few people on here using plasticized ETN for shaped charges and the like.
The energetic has to be in the proper form via special precipitation methods for optimum density though. If using fine powder it does not come out as dense


Slower recrystallization to form larger grains?
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 09:54


You dont want large crystals though which would end up on the sensitive side and make working in the binder dangerous.

There are many techniques and variations. I just dissolve PETN in acetone and pour slowly into heavily stirred ice-water.
Comes out granular like fine sand ready to be further processed into PE.




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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 11:37


Quote: Originally posted by greenlight  
You dont want large crystals though which would end up on the sensitive side and make working in the binder dangerous.

There are many techniques and variations. I just dissolve PETN in acetone and pour slowly into heavily stirred ice-water.
Comes out granular like fine sand ready to be further processed into PE.

I usually crash my ETN in ice water, but at once.
Thanks for the tip.

I'm planning on doing some impact and sensitivity tests that are repeatable.
How do I perform those tests the "official" way, like the industry and real scientists do? :D
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[*] posted on 2-11-2017 at 21:13


You will not get perfect results with homemade equipment. There is a lot of differentiating data from professional scientific tests for the same explosives. There are too many variables to get one specific sensitivity measurement in a small ball park.

Friction testing is probably too hard to reproduce accurately at home. Impact setups would be easy to make with a 2 kg weight and a large ruler, I have even seen people make melting point apparatus on here.

You can compare your results from your own testing equipment between different energetics and it will give you good results you can compare.
Just try and limit variables (samples pure, same age samples, same ambient temp on tests, ) these all make a difference. There is much data on this subject on books dedicated to explosives.




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[*] posted on 3-11-2017 at 17:19


Quote: Originally posted by joseph6355  
I was thinking. Imagine the advantages of an insensitive ETN.
Its a dense and powerful explosive, the main ingredient is very cheap, and easy to get. If you use nitric acid for the nitration, the final yield is greater than the amount of erythritol added, and its also fairly easy to synthesize.

The only problem, of course, is how sensitive it is to impact.
If only we could desensitize it somehow, ETN would make a very good secondary charge.
Of course, by adding other substances we would obtain a smaller density, thus making our charge produce a inferior effectiveness/explosive amount rate.

The question is how, or even if its possible.
I had this on my mind for some days after I remembered how dynamite is made.

ETN is less dense than XPN (xylitol pentanitrate) or than MHN (mannitol hexanitrate) what are related to the family of linear nitrate esters with one NO3 group per carbon and are as easy to make and as cheap to get.
==> H-(CH(ONO2))n-H
H-(CH(ONO2))1-H methyl nitrate
H-(CH(ONO2))2-H ethandiol dinitrate (ethylene glycol dinitrate)
H-(CH(ONO2))3-H propantriol trinitrate (glycerol trinitrate)
H-(CH(ONO2))4-H butantetrol tetranitrate (erythritol tetranitrate)
H-(CH(ONO2))5-H pentanpentol pentanitrate (xylitol pentanitrate)
H-(CH(ONO2))6-H hexanhexol hexanitrate (mannitol hexanitrate)

If the right procedure is used the reaction is nearly quantitative and thus of course the weight of final product is higher than the starting alcohol... this is the case for all nitric esters and even for nitroaromatics where you exchange an H atom for a NO2 group; de facto the molecular weight increases.

The assumption that "Adding another substance will decrease the density"... is not right...this will only be true if the substance in question is of lower density than ETN (although I think that in some rare cases it can be the contrary)...
==> If the density of the added compound is similar; the density will remain nearly the same (except in some rare cases where molecular packing is changed for a reason or another)
==> If the density of the added compound is higher; the resulting density of the mix will be in principle higher (except in some rare case where molecular packing is strongly modified (lacunar/void packing)).

A lower effectiveness will be acheived if the added material is inert towards the ETN during the detonation...
For example adding very fine graphite dust (d=2,09–2,23 g/ccm) will:
1) increase density at all % over ETN
2) reduce friction sensitivity (graphite is a solid lubricant)
3) reduce static electricity sensitivity (graphite is electric current conductor)
4) increase thermic energy output up to a certain % because ETN has a positive OB what means it is too rich at oxygen...and that oxygen can be used to burn C dust during the detonation process...thus releasing the energy from
C + 1/2 O2 --> CO + energy
CO + 1/2 O2 --> CO2 + energy
5) increase detonation energy (brisance) up to another % linked to the points 1) and 4)...enthalpy and density plays a strong role into brisance and this is not per se the perfect OB mix... but this is probably close to it.

If the added substance is an active binder of nearly equal, equal or higher density and with a negative OB...then ther will be mixes of the two that will outperform the detonic parameters of both explosive appart...
==>This case is observed with NC and NG...
NG has the same problem as ETN of displaying a positive OB...
NC has a negative OB...
NC is denser than NG
Resulting blasting gelatin mix is denser than NG and is more brisant than each explosive appart...
NC is less sensitive than NG and reduces the sensitivity of NG a little into the mix...

[Edited on 4-11-2017 by PHILOU Zrealone]




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[*] posted on 3-11-2017 at 17:42


Quote: Originally posted by joseph6355  

Even in its pure form, ETN cannot be used as a main charge (lets say 5kg of ETN) because of its sensitiveness (2 nm).

"nm" means nanometer...not Newton*meters ...
Nm or N*m stands for that...
N*m = J(oule) thus an energy...in the present case a falling weight

Sensitivity may be expressed as a falling height of a given weight (500g, 1kg, 2g, 5kg)... usually expressed into centimeters...
==> 2nm would be extremely sensitive no matter you use 20g or 5kg weight for the falling height determination...




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[*] posted on 3-11-2017 at 21:36


Quote: Originally posted by joseph6355  
Quote: Originally posted by greenlight  
Generally speaking, plasticization of secondary explosives will always lower the sensitivity and increase handling properties which is a bonus.

The coating of the crystals of HE with lubricating inert material causes the sensitivity reduction.

It might sound like I'm stupid, but... What if I simply use ETN instead of RDX and make C-4, but with ETN?
I don't see a reason why it wouldn't work. There is no chemical reaction between the plasticizers and the explosive itself.
Actually, I think its possible to plasticize sand or any other grain-shaped substance.




It’s not stupid. Several of us have successfully plasticised ETN with great results. The end result is heavily dependent on the shape and densities of the ETN crystals. Slow addition -Drop wise- of water and ice to a hot saturated of ETN in methanol works very well yielding a nice dense gritty ETN which shaves very well on rolling. You need to roll it a lot. I mean a lot. The Acetone formed crystals are also well suited for plastics too. You need a plasticiser to go with the binder and for an amateur Methyl Ricinoleate is probably the easiest to make and does give good results, better than motor oils alone which give a more brittle product. There’s a wealth of information scattered throughout this site but if you are interested in making decent plastic it is well worth searching for and reading up on.

Phlegmatising the ETN with 7-8% of PIB rubber with an oil will work to de sensitise the explosive well and aid the loading making it safer to press and filling the tiny voids that are left with regular pressing.




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Like many of us i also do Youtube.... AllCheMystery!
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCWbbidIY4v57uczsl0Fgv7w?vie... Fixed link. You can see it now!
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[*] posted on 8-11-2017 at 09:44


Quote: Originally posted by PHILOU Zrealone  
Quote: Originally posted by joseph6355  

Even in its pure form, ETN cannot be used as a main charge (lets say 5kg of ETN) because of its sensitiveness (2 nm).

"nm" means nanometer...not Newton*meters ...
Nm or N*m stands for that...
N*m = J(oule) thus an energy...in the present case a falling weight

Sensitivity may be expressed as a falling height of a given weight (500g, 1kg, 2g, 5kg)... usually expressed into centimeters...
==> 2nm would be extremely sensitive no matter you use 20g or 5kg weight for the falling height determination...

I'm sorry. I meant Newton meters (Nm).
The source of this data is wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erythritol_tetranitrate.

[Edited on 8-11-2017 by joseph6355]
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[*] posted on 9-11-2017 at 18:03


Well for PETN they add 5-10% wax when putting it in detcord for handling.

The same can be done with ETN. Heat it in a hot water bath to about 120F and add 10 percent wax. When friction is applied the wax melts and lubricates. It will help with static too and the spark will have to vaporize the wax coating to hit the ETN.

1% graphite dust can help to... as the master indicated above :)

I have tried some exotic lubricants like molybdenum or Tungsten disulfide... a warning the sulfide actually sensitizes pyrotechnic ddt mixtures.
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[*] posted on 9-11-2017 at 18:52


Suppose you could use Viton and make it a PBX...



Attachment: RDX Viton PBX.pdf (299kB)
This file has been downloaded 128 times


Quote:

To prepare RDX/viton mixtures of various compositions, RDX and viton were separately dissolved in acetone as per desired weight content in the final mixture. The two solutions were then mixed and temperature of the resultant solution was raised to extract acetone from the solution. This resulted in RDX/viton mixtures which were dried at 70 °C in a vacuum oven at 1 torr vacuum for 8 h for complete drying and to remove occluded solvent from the mixture.




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[*] posted on 10-11-2017 at 11:58



sounds like viton dissolved in acetone could be good to try,
.........may be ideal from a preparation point of view.

viton a or viton b ?
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[*] posted on 10-11-2017 at 14:58


I have been wanting to try viton based PBXs, but was unable to find a source for soluble viton.
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[*] posted on 10-11-2017 at 19:01


Quote: Originally posted by dave321  

sounds like viton dissolved in acetone could be good to try,
.........may be ideal from a preparation point of view.

viton a or viton b ?


Lots of references to Viton A come up with a quick google search...

But there are a LOT of Viton formulations and manufacturer/dealer designations




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[*] posted on 12-11-2017 at 15:21


Is there any other platicizers other then PB, PIB that are more OTC? I can't find any PIB based amalgamating tape if any one knows a brand carried by any of the home centers. Thanks in advance.

[Edited on 11-13-2017 by Mychemlife]
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[*] posted on 12-11-2017 at 15:30


Quote: Originally posted by Mychemlife  
Is there any other platicizers other then PB, PIB that are more it's? I can't find any PIB based amalgamating tape if any one knows a brand carried by any of the home centers. Thanks in advance.

I gave up the idea of plasticizing anything.
All of the plasticizes are endocrine disruptors..
I don't want that crap near me.
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[*] posted on 12-11-2017 at 18:09


I didn't know that. Ty for the info.
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[*] posted on 12-11-2017 at 20:34


PIB or PB would usually be a binder/tacifier. The glue that holds the powdered explosive material together. Also used in various consumer products such as some brands of poster hanging adhesives.

The PLASTICIZER component of a platic explosive might be a sebacate, adipate, terepthalate, tributyl citrate or an oleate, or several other chemicals used to control handling and moulding properties. Are you entirely certain that, say, castor oil is an endocrine disruptor?




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2. List any points of agreement (especially if they are not matters of general or widespread agreement).
3. Mention anything you have learned from your target.
4. Only then are you permitted to say so much as a word of rebuttal or criticism.

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[*] posted on 13-11-2017 at 05:02


Some rat glue brands found in brico shops at a price ranking from 2,5- 5€ are 80% pure PIB... with 20% medium volatility flamable solvent...



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[*] posted on 13-11-2017 at 21:57


Quote: Originally posted by Bert  
PIB or PB would usually be a binder/tacifier. The glue that holds the powdered explosive material together. Also used in various consumer products such as some brands of poster hanging adhesives.

The PLASTICIZER component of a platic explosive might be a sebacate, adipate, terepthalate, tributyl citrate or an oleate, or several other chemicals used to control handling and moulding properties. Are you entirely certain that, say, castor oil is an endocrine disruptor?

Castor oil? LOL, no!
Pthalates are though. Epoxies too (they contain Bisphenol A), and also adipates.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1574-695X.2007....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epoxide#Uses
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phthalate#Endocrine_disruption

If you're going to plasticize something, use gloves, respirators and glasses.
Don't let that crap get in contact with your body in any way.

Edit: tributyl citrates too.
https://academic.oup.com/biolreprod/article-abstract/96/5/11...

[Edited on 14-11-2017 by joseph6355]
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