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PUBLICATION NOTICE: Sieve Stack and Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analysis of IMX-104 Low-Order Detonation Particles

US Army Engineer Research and Development Center
Published April 7, 2020



Report Number: ERDC/CRREL TR-20-3

Title: Sieve Stack and Laser Diffraction Particle Size Analysis of IMX-104 Low-Order Detonation Particles

By Matthew F. Bigl, Samuel A. Beal, Michael R. Walsh, Charles A. Ramsey, and Katrina M. Burch

Approved for Public Release; Distribution is Unlimited February 2020

ABSTRACT:  When an artillery round undergoes a low-order detonation during live-fire training or an unexploded ordnance clearance operation, up to 25% of the round’s energetic contents are scattered over a small, localized area, sometimes less than 100 m2. Training-range fate and transport models require an accurate representation of the particle-size characteristics of the material left behind from low-order detonations. This study investigated using laser diffraction particle size analysis to characterize 26 samples collected from four low-order command-detonated 81 mm mortar bodies filled with IMX-104. The refractive index of IMX-104 was estimated using an iterative recalculation technique on a Horiba LA-960 that yielded 1.845 0.01i. Of the 25 triplicate analyses conducted using this value, 12 passed the USP <429> measurement standard with 9 of the remaining samples found to have had a reduction in particle size during analysis that caused artificially high coefficient of variance values. The cumulative percent of particle sizes determined by laser diffraction and sieve stack differed by 0%–21.9% (median = 0.2%–7.2%). In addition, the higher resolution results of the laser diffraction particle size analysis, especially for particles smaller than 0.5 mm, make it the preferred method of analysis.

63 pgs / 2.65 MB

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