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Tag: Range sustainment
  • Determination of Residual Low-Order Detonation Particle Characteristics from Composition B Mortar Rounds

    Empirical measurements of the spatial distribution, particle-size distribution, mass, morphology, and energetic composition of particles from low-order (LO) detonations are critical to accurately characterizing environ-mental impacts on military training ranges. This study demonstrated a method of generating and characterizing LO-detonation particles, previously applied to insensitive munitions, to 81 mm mortar rounds containing the conventional explosive formulation Composition B. The three sampled rounds had estimated detonation efficiencies ranging from 64% to 82% as measured by sampled residual energetic material. For all sampled rounds, energetic deposition rates were highest closer to the point of detonation; however, the mass per radial meter varied. The majority of particles (>60%), by mass, were <2 mm in size. However, the spatial distribution of the <2 mm particles from the point of detonation varied between the three sampled rounds. In addition to the particle-size-distribution results, several method performance observations were made, including command-detonation configurations, sampling quality control, particle-shape influence on laser-diffraction particle-size analysis (LD-PSA), and energetic purity trends. Overall, this study demonstrated the successful characterization of Composition B LO-detonation particles from command detonation through combined analysis by LD-PSA and sieving.
  • Live-Fire Validation of Command-Detonation Residues Testing Using a 60 mm IMX-104 Munition

    Abstract: Command detonation (i.e., static firing) provides a method of testing munitions for their postdetonation residues early in the acquisition process. However, necessary modifications to the firing train and cartridge orientation raise uncertainty whether command detonation accurately represents residue deposition as it occurs during live-fire training. This study collected postdetonation residues from live-fired 60 mm IMX-104 mortar cartridges and then compared estimated energetic-compound deposition rates between live fire and prior command detonations of the same munition. Average live-fire deposition rates of IMX-104 compounds deter-mined from 11 detonations were 3800 mg NTO (3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one), 34 mg DNAN (2,4-dinitroanisole), 12 mg RDX (1,3,5-Trinitroperhydro-1,3,5-Triazine), and 1.9 mg HMX (1,3,5,7-Tetranitro-1,3,5,7-Tetrazocane) per cartridge. Total live-fire residue deposition (mean ± standard deviation: 3800 ± 900 mg/cartridge) was not significantly different from command detonation using a representative fuze simulator (3800 ± 900 mg/cartridge, n = 7, p = 0.76) but was significantly different from command detonation using a simplified fuze simulator (2200 ± 500 mg/cartridge, n = 7, p < 0.01). While the dominant residue compound NTO was broadly similar between live fire and command detonation, the minor residue compounds RDX and DNAN were underestimated during command detonation by a factor of approximately three to seven.
  • PUBLICATION NOTICE: Environmental Analysis of Aqueous 3-Nitro-1,2,4-Triazol-5-One (NTO) by Ion Chromatography with Conductivity Detection

    Abstract:  The newly fielded insensitive high-explosive compound 3-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-5-one (NTO) is mobile in the environment due to its high water solubility and low affinity for soils. The weak acidity of NTO (pKa 3.67) presents a challenge to environmental analysis by high-performance liquid chromatography but enables direct separation by ion chromatography (IC). Here we developed an IC method for NTO in natural water, soil, and postdetonation residue. A gradient potassium hydroxide separation effectively resolved the inorganic anions (F−, Cl−, NO2−, Br−, SO42−, NO3−, and PO43−) and NTO in 18 minutes. Suppressed conductivity of aqueous NTO was linear from 10 µg/L to 10 mg/L with a detection limit of 3 µg/L and quantitation limit of 9 µg/L. Recoveries of NTO-spiked natural water samples were 93%–118% at concentrations of 30, 100, and 500 µg/L. Recoveries of NTO-spiked soil samples were 91%–114% using deionized water (DI) extraction. NTO was completely recovered with DI-extraction in two postdetonation residue samples of IMX-101 but only partially recovered (58% and 69%) in two higher-concentration residues, potentially due to incomplete dissolution of the energetic particle matrix. These results support IC for confirmation analysis of environmental samples and for screening natural water samples while simultaneously analyzing inorganic ions.