High speed imaging of TATB- and HMX-based energetic material decomposition in molten salts

Michelle L. Pantoya, Benjamin D. Shaw, Elizabeth A. Megas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Immersion of energetic materials into high-temperature molten-salt baths, where the energetic materials decompose, is being considered as a method for their safe destruction. In the present research, behaviors of the high explosives LX-17 (92.5 wt% 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (TATB), 7.5 wt% KeI-F 800 plastic binder) and LX-04 (85 wt% octahydro-3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine (HMX), 15 wt% Viton A plastic binder) were studied when these materials were immersed into molten salt baths. Pressed cylindrical samples initially 6.35 mm in diameter and length were immersed in molten salt baths, and data were taken photographically. Sample decomposition behaviors were observed for varied salt temperatures in a molten LiCl-NaCl-KCl eutectic and then separately in a molten Li2CO3-Na2CO3-K2CO3 eutectic. Bath temperatures ranged from 650 to 750°C. General combustion behaviors such as bubble formation characteristics, gas evolution, and sample lifetimes were observed. Results indicated that sample lifetimes decreased as bath temperatures increased, and that the carbonate eutectic increased initial decomposition rates and decreased sample lifetimes relative to the chloride eutectic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalPropellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2000


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