Sensitivity of PBX 9501 and PBX 9502 to Milling Operations

Joshua Williams, Ethan Weeks, Raimi Clark, Scott Watkins, James Dickens, John Mankowski, Jacob Brinkman, Andreas Neuber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Explosive driven pulsed power performance benefits from modern polymer-bonded explosives. In practical application, high precision in the dimensional shape is required, and high machining speeds are desired. The limits of machining speed, driven mainly by the thermal response of the energetic material, are investigated. Specifically, the thermal response of PBX 9501 (95% HMX, 2.5% Estane, 2.5% BDNPA/BDNPF by weight) and PBX 9502 (95% TATB, 5% Kel F-800 by weight) under conventional milling methods is examined. The presented work focuses on face milling performed with dry machining on a CNC, remote-controlled milling machine. The primary parameters of interest are the spindle speed, feed rate, step size, and depth of cut, with additional consideration given to endmill diameter, milling technique, and the number of flutes. The temperature of the system is monitored via high-speed IR videography and near the cutting interface with a K-type thermocouple inserted into the endmill's through-coolant hole. Operational forces and torques are recorded by a 6-axis force sensor mounted beneath the HE samples.An empirical relationship between temperature and the milling parameters is presented. Overall, milling regimes exist outside of DOE-STD-1212-2019 for which milling temperatures remain well below the HE critical temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2021 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781665433471
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2021 - Denver, United States
Duration: Dec 12 2021Dec 16 2021

Publication series

NameIEEE International Pulsed Power Conference
ISSN (Print)2158-4915
ISSN (Electronic)2158-4923


Conference2021 IEEE Pulsed Power Conference, PPC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • HE
  • PBX 9501
  • PBX 9502
  • machining limits
  • milling


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