Sublimation kinetics and diffusion coefficients of TNT, PETN, and RDX in air by thermogravimetry

Walid M. Hikal, Brandon L. Weeks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The diffusion coefficients of explosives are crucial in their trace detection and lifetime estimation. We report on the experimental values of diffusion coefficients of three of the most important explosives in both military and industry: TNT, PETN, and RDX. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was used to determine the sublimation rates of TNT, PETN, and RDX powders in the form of cylindrical billets. The TGA was calibrated using ferrocene as a standard material of well-characterized sublimation rates and vapor pressures to determine the vapor pressures of TNT, PETN, and RDX. The determined sublimation rates and vapor pressures were used to indirectly determine the diffusion coefficients of TNT, PETN, and RDX for the first time. A linear log-log dependence of the diffusion coefficients on temperature is observed for the three materials. The diffusion coefficients of TNT, PETN, and RDX at 273 K were determined to be 5.76×10-6m2/sec, 4.94×10 -6 m2/s, and 5.89×10-6 m2/s, respectively. Values are in excellent agreement with the theoretical values in literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-28
Number of pages5
JournalTalanta
Volume125
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2014

Keywords

  • Activation energy
  • Diffusion coefficient
  • Explosives detection
  • PETN
  • RDX
  • Sublimation rate
  • TNT
  • Vapor pressure

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