Developing Safe Lathing Parameters for PBX 9501

Randall B. Woodrum, David H. Barnett, James C. Dickens, Andreas A. Neuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


This paper presents the work performed on dry-lathing PBX 9501 to gather and analyze cutting force as well as temperature data during the machining process. The data is compared to present USA federal-regulation-constrained machining limits of high explosives. The effects of machining parameters depth of cut, surface meters per minute, and feed per revolution on cutting force and cutting interface were evaluated. Cutting tools of tip radius 0.013 cm and 0.127 cm were tested to determine the effect of the tool shape on the machining process. Empirically, a pronounced dependence of the maximum tool temperature on the depth of cut and surface meters per minute was found, while the dependence on the feed per revolution was found much weaker. It is elucidated that rapid, shallow cuts optimize machining time for a billet of PBX 9501 while minimizing temperature increase and cutting force.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)779-788
Number of pages10
JournalPropellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • HE
  • Lathing
  • Machining Limits
  • PBX 9501


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