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126

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 25, 126132 (2000)

Performance and Sensitivity of Explosives


Hans-Heinrich Licht
Institut Franco Allemand de Recherches de Saint Louis, Deutsch-Franzosisches Forschungsinstitut Saint Louis, (ISL),
Postfach 1260, D-79574 Weil am Rhein (Germany)

Leistung und Empndlichkeit von Explosivstoffen


Meergebnisse aus Tests zur Leistungs- und Empndlichkeitsbeschreibung von Explosivstoffen wurden nach einer Normierung zu
einer einzigen Leistungs- bzw. Sicherheits-Kennzahl fur den jeweiligen Explosivstoff zusammengefat. Das erlaubte eine Bewertung von
Reinstoffen und speziellen Formulierungen im Hinblick darauf, wie
weit die jeweilige Leistung des Explosivstoffs in einem ausgewogenen
Verhaltnis zu seiner Empndlichkeit steht. Bei einer graphischen
Darstellung ergibt sich eine imaginare Grenzlinie, was bedeutet, da
eine hohe Leistung mit einer erhohten Empndlichkeit parallel lauft
und da unempndliche Sprengstoffe keine Spitzen-Leistung erbringen. Da dieses aus der Praxis der Ladungsherstellung gelauge
Ergebnis theoretisch nicht zu begrunden ist, sollte es auch Ausnahmen
geben, also Explosivstoffe, die zumindest in ihrer Tendenz dem
idealen Explosivstoff (mit hoher Leistung und hoher Sicherheit) nahe
kommen, was durch Beispiele belegt wird.

Performance et sensibilite d'explosifs


Les resultats experimentaux de tests de performance et de sensibilite
d'explosifs ont ete regroupes apres normalisation en une seule
caracteristique de performance ainsi que de securite pour chaque
explosif. Ceci permet d'evaluer des composes purs et des formulations
speciales et de determiner dans quelle mesure les performances de
l'explosif sont en accord avec sa sensibilite. Un graphique met en
evidence une limite imaginaire signiant qu'une performance elevee
s'accompagne d'une sensibilite elevee et que des explosifs insensibles
ne donnent pas de performances maximales. Etant donne que ce
resultat trouve frequemment en pratique lors de la fabrication des
charges ne peut etre justie theoriquement, on peut imaginer qu'il y a
aussi des exceptions, donc des explosifs qui tendent a se rapprocher de
l'explosif ideal (a haute performance et haute securite), comme en
temoignent des exemples.

Summary

element composition, oxygen balanced compounds and


energetic materials with metal admixture. All these explosives were investigated with respect to their performance and
their sensitivity and stability, respectively.
The rst and common description of the explosive performance is the detonation velocity D (measured at a desirably
high charge density). This is not sufcient as resulted by our
own research on light-element explosives (ANQ, TAGN)(1),
which exhibited besides attractive D values only low ballistic
performance not predicted by model calculations.
So as a
p
second base is applied the Gurney energy 2EG . For a more
profound analysis we recommend the brisance of an explosive which can be quantied by the depth (or the volume) of
the denting from a detonation on a steel plate, the Plate Dent
Test.
The security data have to describe very differing properties. Shock sensitivity and thermal stability are preferred
here, because the data are well accessible and only small
sample amounts are needed. As a third term the detonability
is obtained from the gap test which needs a more extensive
investigation. Such data are available only for a part of the
considered compounds and are reserved for the more detailed
aspect of this subject.

Experimental data from several performance and sensitivity tests


have been combined after normalization to dene a single performance
and a security characteristic term, respectively. This allows to evaluate
pure compounds and special formulations with regard to a well
balanced ratio of performance and sensitivity. A graph shows an
imaginary border line what has to be interpreted in the sense that in
the praxis of explosive charges high performance is accompanied by
an enhanced sensitivity and that an insensitive explosive will not
exhibit a top performance. As this result cannot be proved by theory
one should imagine that there are also exceptions, i.e. explosives
which approach the ideal high explosive (with high performance and
high security) what is exemplied.

1. Introduction
Performance and sensitivity, often used in order to characterize energetic materials, are not precise terms. They have
multiple aspects and they are quantied by strongly differing
test procedures. The description of an explosive will be the
more complete the larger is the data basis which such an
analysis is relied on.
It is tried here to connect the performance and sensitivity
data from ISL experiments to a single but complete explosive
description. The representation proposed here can cover the
desirable total aspect only to some extent as (for good
reasons) exclusively own data from well dened tests are
applied. So the valuation of explosives is based on only two
or in a more profound consideration on three tests, each.
This investigation is based on the ISL data collection
published here which does not only take into account
standard explosives but also high explosives with uncommon
# WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH, D-69451 Weinheim, 2000

2. The Coherence of Performance and Sensitivity


Although there seems to exist a coherence between
performance and sensitivity (we give a lot of examples),
the more brisant explosive being also the more sensitive one,
there is no fundamental law that the gain in performance has
to be paid with a loss in security. This can be veried by a few
considerations: An explosive single crystal is not detonable
0721-3115/00/0306 000126 $17.50:50=0

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 25, 126132 (2000)

in principle, but it carries the performance when it comes to a


detonation at any way. The second example is even more
familiar: TNT (cast) is like the single crystal a relatively
homogeneous system and so it is detonable only with
difculties in contrast to the pressed TNT which can be
applied as a booster. But both have the same detonation
velocity.

Performance and Sensitivity of Explosives

127

depends on a lot of parameters and can be treated as a


constant only with certain restrictions. Similar are the
relations for the security data. So the experimental conditions
on which the results and their interpretation are based on, are
described at rst.
3.1 Performance Data Determination
3.1.1 Detonation Velocity D

3. Experimental
To obtain comparable data, the experimental conditions
have to be dened precisely. Especially the Gurney constant
Table 1. Performance Characteristics: Detonation Velocity
Explosive

HN=HMX-65=35
HM=HN=TAGN-45=40=15
HMX=HN-70=30
HMX
RDX=HN-55=45
HMX=ETN-65=35
ANQ
RDX
TeNHHPm
HMX=TNT-70=30
PETN=HN-45=55
ETN=HMX-80=20
PETN
RDX=Al-85=15 (80=20)
NMP
TAGN
RDX=TNT-60=40
NTO
RDX=HTPB-85=15
AMP
TNAD
BAED
C=N-DNBTr=W-93/7
DINA
DINA-Dynamite-90=10
Tetryl
TATB
NTO=HNE=W-76=19=5
DINGU=TNT-60=40
Bis-MNDPy
NITRA
DADPyOx
TATB=TNT-60=40
NIGU=TNT-60=40
2-MNDPy
TMNTz
NC=DINA-60=40
DINGU=HNE=W-63=32=5
ADPy
ADPyOx
TNT
AHDPy
DADPy
RDX=W-50=50
PETN=rubber-89=11
PETN (D 1)
TAGN=W-50=0

D (g=cm3)

D (m=s)

Characteristics

1.71
1.73
1.78
1.81
1.68
1.81
1.66
1.73
1.76
1.81
1.65
1.75
1.72
1.78
1.75
1.47
1.74
1.81
1.57
1.67
1.64
1.51
1.57
1.62
1.61
1.71
1.86
1.64
1.79
1.60
1.56
1.80
1.79
1.69
1.63
1.53
1.55
1.63
1.67
1.69
1.60
1.72
1.69
2.92
1.20
0.98
2.48

9023
9008
9000
8773
8675
8611
8522
8489
8368
8319
8277
8160
8142
8114
8054
8048
7965
7959
7897
7876
7775
7773
7767
7713
7665
7573
7539
7523
7488
7361
7350
7328
7303
7269
7266
7228
7227
6986
6973
6963
6913
6813
6800
6501
6431
5516
5086

1.000
0.998
0.997
0.972
0.961
0.954
0.944
0.941
0.927
0.922
0.917
0.904
0.902
0.899
0.893
0.892
0.883
0.882
0.875
0.873
0.862
0.861
0.861
0.855
0.849
0.839
0.836
0.834
0.83
0.816
0.815
0.812
0.809
0.806
0.805
0.801
0.801
0.774
0.773
0.772
0.766
0.755
0.754
0.72
0.713
0.611
0.564

Obtaining optimum results has not been tried. The materials rarely possessed the favourable grain size for the charge
fabrication. As a consequence the charge density D often
Table 2. Performance Characteristics: Gurney Energy
p
2EG Characteristics
Explosive
D (g=cm3)

HMX
HMX=HN-70=30
ETN=HMX-80=20
PETN
DINA
HMX=ETN-65=35
HMX=HN=TAGN-45=40=15
HN=HMX-65=35
RDX
DINA-Dynamite 90=10
RDX=HN-55=45
TeNHHPm
HMX=TNT-70=30
RDX=Al-85=15 (80=20)
RDX=TNT-60=40
NMP
PETN=HN-45=55
BAED
TNAD
Tetryl
Bis-MNDPy
AMP
RDX=HTPB-85=15
ANQ
C=N-DNBTr=W-93=7
TMNTz
2-MNDPy
NC=DINA-60=40
TAGN
TATB=TNT-60=40
TNT
PETN=rubber-89=11
DINGU=TNT-60=40
PETN (D 1)
TATB
DINGU=HNE=W-63=32=5
NIGU=TNT-60=40
NTO
DADPyOx
NITRA
NTO=HNE=W-76=19=5
ADPyOx
ADPy
AHDPy
RDX=W-50=50
DADPy
TAGN=W-50=50

1.81
1.78
1.75
1.72
1.62
1.79
1.73
1.71
1.73
1.61
1.68
1.76
1.81
1.78
1.74
1.75
1.65
1.51
1.64
1.71
1.63
1.67
1.57
1.66
1.57
1.53
1.60
1.55
1.47
1.79
1.60
1.20
1.79
0.98
1.86
1.63
1.69
1.81
1.80
1.56
1.64
1.69
1.67
1.72
2.92
1.58
2.48

2.96
2.95
2.93
2.92
2.89
2.89
2.88
2.88
2.87
2.85
2.85
2.82
2.79
2.75
2.75
2.71
2.71
2.69
2.66
2.64
2.61
2.60
2.56
2.55
2.55
2.50
2.49
2.49
2.47
2.42
2.39
2.38
2.36
2.35
2.34
2.32
2.32
2.32
2.30
2.28
2.27
2.20
2.10
1.92
1.89
1.72
1.65

1.000
0.997
0.99
0.986
0.976
0.976
0.973
0.973
0.97
0.963
0.963
0.953
0.943
0.929
0.929
0.916
0.916
0.909
0.899
0.892
0.882
0.878
0.865
0.861
0.861
0.845
0.841
0.841
0.834
0.818
0.807
0.804
0.797
0.794
0.791
0.784
0.784
0.784
0.777
0.77
0.767
0.743
0.709
0.649
0.639
0.581
0.557

128 Hans-Heinrich Licht

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 25, 126 132 (2000)

Table 3. Performance Characteristics: Plate-Dent-Test


Explosive

HMX=ETN-65=35
RDX=W-50=50
HMX
RDX
PETN
HMX=HN-70=30
ETN=HMX-80=20
HMX=TNT-70=30
RDX=TNT-60=40
RDX=Al-80=20
HN=HMX-65=35
Tetryl
TATB=TNT-60=40
TATB
NTO
RDX=HTPB-85=15
DINGU=TNT-60=40
ANQ
TNT
TAGN=W-50=50
DADPyOx
TAGN
DADPy
PETN (D 1)

Table 4. Security Characteristics: DTA=TG

D (g=cm )

Dent (mm )

Characteristics

1.81
2.915
1.81
1.73
1.72
1.74
1.75
1.81
1.735
1.80
1.71
1.69
1.79
1.82
1.775
1.57
1.79
1.61
1.60
2.48
1.66
1.44
1.53
0.98

8.11
8.09
7.82
7.71
7.56
7.51
7.39
7.35
7.04
7.03
6.58
6.48
6.30
5.87
5.72
5.72
5.67
5.59
5.51
5.30
5.24
5.04
3.21
2.62

1.000
0.998
0.964
0.951
0.932
0.926
0.911
0.906
0.868
0.867
0.811
0.799
0.777
0.724
0.705
0.705
0.699
0.689
0.679
0.654
0.646
0.621
0.396
0.323

deviates strongly from the crystal density r and often attains


only 90 95% of r. Additives 1% are not mentioned here. It
was supposed that such quantities do (practically) not affect
the material properties. As the D measurements were
obtained from Gurney energy investigations, the experimental conditions are given by their technology (see below).
Most results originate from cylindrical charges (1 16 mm,
145 mm long) with metal connement. Bigger charges
(1 25 mm, 250 mm long) were chosen for IHEs (TATB,
TNT cast). Charges in the form of an open-faced sandwich
were only applied in special cases.
p
3.1.2 Gurney Energy 2EG
For the determination of the Gurney energy we applied the
experimental setup used by Defourneaux(2) for his ``coefcient balistique''. Here the deection angle of the accelerated
metal connement following a detonation is recorded by an
X-ray ash. The theoretical background allows to combine
the ``coefcient balistique'' with Gurney's model. Thus the
data from the ISL tests can be taken to calculate a Gurney
constant(3). This was the precondition to correlate different
charge geometries. When this test is realized with a Cu tube
(1 25 mm, 250 mm long) a direct correlation exists with the
copper cylinder test but with the important difference that the
ISL method gives as a result a concrete numeral value and not
a graph.
A parametric study(4) showed that the result is inuenced
by different factors:
the geometry (cylinder, open faced sandwich, symmetrical sandwich),
the mass ratio m (metal=explosive),
the dimensions (tube length and diameter, plate thickness and width).

Explosive

TATB=TNT-60=40
TATB
DADPyOx
DADPy
TNT
ADPy
AHDPy
HMX=ETN-65=35
HMX=TNT-70=30
HMX=HN-70=30
NTO
ETN=HMX-80=20
HMX
NTO=HNE=W-76=19=5
DINGU=TNT-60=40
DINGU=HNE=W-63=32=5
HMX=HN=TAGN-45=40=15
RDX=Al-85=15 (80=20)
RDX=W-50=50
RDX=TNT-60=40
HN=HMX-65=35
NITRA
AMP
TAGN
RDX=HTPB-85=15
TAGN=W-50=50
TNAD
ADPyOx
RDX
Tetryl
TMNTz
RDX=HN-55=45
DINA
DINA-Dynamite (90=10)
Nigu=TNT-60=40
PETN
PETN (D 1)
ANQ
BAED
PETN=HN-45=55
NC=DINA-60=40
2-MNDPy
Bis-MNDPy
NMP
TeNHHPm
PETN=rubber-89=11
C=N-DNBTr-93=7

Tex (6 C=/min)

Characteristics

376
373
356
350
305
300
300
291
289
288
284
283
280
280
257
254
239
239
237
235
232
226
225
225
218
218
218
210
210
210
210
209
207
207
203
202
202
201
200
200
191
190
190
190
188
185
160

1.000
0.992
0.947
0.931
0.811
0.798
0.798
0.780
0.769
0.766
0.755
0.753
0.745
0.745
0.684
0.676
0.636
0.636
0.630
0.625
0.617
0.601
0.598
0.598
0.580
0.580
0.580
0.559
0.559
0.559
0.559
0.556
0.551
0.551
0.540
0.537
0.537
0.535
0.532
0.532
0.508
0.505
0.505
0.505
0.500
0.492
0.426

These parameters have to be correlated if they are to be


combined. The results from small tubes (1 16 mm) are only
comparable with those from big ones (1 25 mm) in a certain
m range. The same is true for plate charges and their relation
to cylinders.
The here cited Gurney constant is an average value from
several experiments.
3.1.3 Plate Dent Test
The dent volume or the dent depth formed after detonation
of an unconned cylindrical charge of 35 mm ; on a steel

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 25, 126132 (2000)

Performance and Sensitivity of Explosives

Table 5. Security Characteristics: Shock Sensitivity

Table 6. Security Characteristics: Gap Test

Explosive

Drop Weight (N.m) Characteristics

Explosive

ADPY
AHDPy
C=N-DNBTr=W-93=7
DADPy
DADPyOx
TATB
TATB=TNT-60=40
NTO
Nigu=TNT-60=40
HMX=TNT-70=30
DINGU=TNT-60=40
2-MNDPy
TNT
ADPyOx
PETN=HN-45=55
TMNTz
Tetryl
RDX=TNT-60=40
DINA
DINA=NC-90=10
TeNHHPm
BAED
NITRA
RDX=HTPB-85=15
Bis-MNDPy
RDX
RDX=HN-55=45
TAGN
HMX=ETN-65=35
HMX=HN-70=30
HMX=HN=TAGN-45=40=15
NC=DINA-60=40
ANQ
AMP
DINGU=HNE=W-63=32=5
ETN=HMX-80=20
HN=HMX-65=35
NTO=HNE=W
HMX
RDX=Al-80=20
PETN
PETN (D 1)
PETN=HN-45=55
PETN=rubber-89=11
NMP
TNAD
RDX=W-50=50
TAGN=W-50=50

> 25 (30)
> 25 (30)
> 25 (30)
> 25 (30)
> 25 (30)
> 25 (30)
> 25 (30)
25
22.5
20
17.5
17.5
15
12.5
12.5
12.5
6.5 15 (10.75)
10
7.5
7.5
7.5
6.5
6.5
6.5
5.5
3.5 7.5 (5.5)
5.5
5.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.0
1.5 6.5 (4.0)
3.5
3.5
3.5
3.5
2.0
2.0
< 1.5 (1.0)
< 1.5 (1.0)

DADPy
NTO
TATB
TNT (cast)
TATB=TNT-60=40
ANQ
DADPyOx
RDX=HTPB-85=15
RDX=TNT-60=40
Nigu=TNT-60=40
DINGU=TNT-60=40
HMX=TNT-70=30
TAGN
RDX (class E)
HMX
Tetryl
PETN

1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
0.833
0.75
0.667
0.583
0.583
0.5
0.417
0.417
0.417
0.358
0.333
0.25
0.25
0.25
0.217
0.217
0.217
0.183
0.183
0.183
0.183
0.167
0.167
0.167
0.167
0.15
0.15
0.15
0.15
0.15
0.15
0.133
0.133
0.117
0.117
0.117
0.117
0.067
0.067
0.033
0.033

plate(5) can be evaluated from the plate dent test. Neither the
height of the charge nor the mode of initiation is critical. A
height of  100 mm and the initiation by a booster of 23 g
PETN=wax-93=7 proved to be useful.
As plates we used three discs (1 140  60 mm) of steel ST
37=XC 18 in a sand bed.
In this report the results of the depth measurement are
given because they are generally more easily accessible,
although a volume determination can be realized quickly
and in a simple manner by ``titration of the crater'' with
water=ethanol.

129

D (g=cm3) Gap Test (kbar) Characteristics

1.58
1.83
1.84
1.63
1.79
1.65
1.68
1.57
1.73
1.69
1.79
1.81
1.49
1.62
1.78
1.62
1.62

> 50 (55)
> 50 (55)
> 50 (55)
> 50 (55)
42
39
39
36
28
27
26
20
18
12.4
11
9.5
3.9

1.000
1.000
1.000
1.000
0.764
0.709
0.709
0.655
0.509
0.491
0.473
0.364
0.327
0.225
0.200
0.173
0.071

3.2 Determination of Sensitivity Data


With respect to the sensitivity one has to distinguish
between mechanical sensitivity tests (``1st reaction'') and
detonability tests (``detonation: yes=no''). A third characteristic property is the thermal stability.
3.2.1 Thermal Stability
Thermal stability is characterized with DTA=TG by the
maximum of the decomposition peak when the sample is
heated with 6 K=min beginning at ambient temperature.
3.2.2 Shock Sensitivity
Shock sensitivity has been determined by a drop weight
test (``BAM'')(6). The lowest shock energy of the rst
reaction of 6 experiments was taken as security criterion.
The experiments were realized with a 1 kg weight between 15
and 75 cm and a 5 kg weight between 15 and 50 cm drop
height, respectively.
3.2.3 Gap Test
For the gap test as a method to describe the detonability we
selected the BICT procedure(7): Donor charge of 10 g
RDX=wax-95=5 (D 1:6 g=cm3) and a test charge of
1 25 mm  25 mm with water as gap material. The relatively small dimensions become critical when less sensitive
materials (TATB, NTO) were tested.

4. Results and Discussion


The individual performance data are combined in Tables
1 3, and those pertaining to security in Tables 4 6 in a
descending order. After normalization they give a ``characteristic''.

130 Hans-Heinrich Licht

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 25, 126 132 (2000)

Table 7. Explosives
Abbreviation

ADPy
ADPyOx
AHDPy
ANQ
AMP
BAED
C=N-DNBTr=W-93=7
DADPy
DADPyOx
DINA
DINA-Dynamit (90=10)
DINGU
ETN
HN
HNE
2-MNDPy
Bis-MNDPy
Nigu
NITRA
NMP
NTO
TeNHHPm
TMNTz
TNAD
W

Chemial Compound

Ref.

4-Amino-3,5-dinitropyridine
4-Amino-3,5-dinitropyridine-N-oxide
2-Amino-6-hydroxy-3,5-dinitropyridine
Aminonitroguanidine
Azidomethyl-trinitrohexahydropyrimidine
Bis(azido-methyl)-ethylendinitramine
4-Nitro-2-(1-nitro-1,2,4-triazol-3-yl)-1,2,3-triazole ( 7% wax)
2,6-Diamino-3,5-dinitropyridine
2,6-Diamino-3,5-dinitropyridine-N-oxide
Bis(nitratoethyl)-nitramine
DINA=Nitrocellulose-90=10
Dinitroglycolurile
Erythritol tetranitrate
Hydrazine nitrate
Hexanitroethane
2-Methyl-nitramino-3,5-dinitropyridine
2,6-Bis(methylnitramino)-3,5-dinitropyridine
Nitroguanidine
3-Nitramino-1,2,4-triazole
Nitrato-methyl-trinitro-hexahydropyrimidine
Nitrotriazolone
1,1,3,5-Tetranitrohexahydropyrimidine
2,4,6-Tris(methylnitramino)-1,3,5-triazine
Tetranitraza-decalin
Wax, paraffine

(8)
(8)
(8)

The exact names of chemical compounds and their origin


are given in Table 7.
The grain size or the distinction cast=pressed have only
been respected in individual cases, although they may often
be very important.

Figure 1. Performance and security gures of standard explosives.

(14)
(14)
(10)
(8)
(8)

(11)
(11)
(12)
(9)
(16)
(15)
(13)

4.1 Performance Data


The maximum detonation velocity of HMX (49000 m=s)
can only be obtained with a high charge preparation technology. So HMX has here only a Dexp 8773 m=s.
After addition of a castable high explosive with positive
oxygen balance (HN) a performance enhancement is

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 25, 126132 (2000)

Performance and Sensitivity of Explosives

131

Table 8. Performance and Security Figures (Standard Explosives :


bold print)
Explosive

ADPy
ADPyOx
AHDPy
ANQ
AMP
BAED
C=N-DNBTr=W-93=7
DADPy
DADPyOx
DINA
DINA-Dynamite-90=10
DINGU=HNE=W-63=32=5
DINGU=TNT-60=40
ETN=HMX-80=20
HMX
HMX=ETN-65=35
HMX=HN-70=30
HMX=HN=TAGN-45=40=15
HMX=TNT-70=30
HN=HMX-65=35
2-MNDPy
Bis-MNDPy
NC=DINA-60=40
Nigu=TNT-60=40
NITRA
NMP
NTO
NTO=HNE=W-76=19=5
PETN
PETN (D 1)
PETN=HN-45=55
PETN=rubber-89=11
RDX
RDX=Al-85=15 (80=20)
RDX=HN-55=45
RDX=TNT-60=40
RDX=HTPB-85=15
RDX=W-50=50
TAGN
TAGN=W-50=50
TATB
TATB=TNT-60=40
TeNHHPm
Tetryl
TMNTz
TNAD
TNT

Performance
2.2
3.3

0.548
0.574
0.490
0.813
0.766
0.783
0.741
0.438
0.631
0.834
0.818
0.607
0.662
0.895
0.972
0.931
0.994
0.971
0.869
0.973
0.677
0.720
0.674
0.632
0.628
0.818
0.691
0.64
0.889
0.485
0.84
0.573
0.913
0.835
0.925
0.820
0.757
0.460
0.744
0.314
0.661
0.662
0.883
0.748
0.677
0.775
0.618

0.560

0.173
0.408

0.463
0.937

0.788

0.487
0.829

0.868
0.712
0.534
0.462
0.479
0.514
0.598
0.420

Security
2.2
3.3

0.798
0.233
0.798
0.080
0.090
0.115
0.426
0.931
0.947
0.138
0.138
0.101
0.399
0.113
0.099
0.130
0.128
0.106
0.513
0.093
0.294
0.092
0.085
0.405
0.130
0.034
0.629
0.112
0.063
0.063
0.062
0.058
0.102
0.085
0.102
0.208
0.126
0.021
0.109
0.019
0.992
1.000
0.125
0.200
0.233
0.039
0.406

0.057

0.931
0.671
Figure 2. Performance=Security: standard explosives.

0.189
0.020

0.187

enhancement. We suppose that HNE does not exhibit sufciently distinct explosive properties, that means HNE does
not react in the detonation zone (of NTO).
Addition of metals (15 20% Al or 50% W) always results
in a p
dilution
effect with respect to the observed performance
(D, 2EG ). On the other hand, in the plate dent test a higher
performance is realized which is possibly only an abrasion
effect of a secondary reaction.
4.2 Security Data

0.629
0.004

0.023
0.106
0.082

The strong inuence of metal addition on shock sensitivity


should be emphasized.
The maximum=minimum results of the thermal stability
only differ by the factor 2. There are materials which have
only a limited stability up to 150  C, on the other hand
compounds exist which endure 4350  C not easy to
realize for any organic compound, especially for an explosive.

0.036
0.992
0.764
0.035
0.406

Example (NTO):
Performance 3.3: 0.882 (Tab. 1)* 0.784 (Tab. 2)* 0.705
(Tab. 3) 0.487
Security 2.2: 0.755 (Tab. 4)* 0.833 (Tab. 5) 0.629

observed despite of a reduced density. This lower density,


especially the lower molecular weight of the hydrazine
nitrate consisting of light elements (H !) is responsible for
the reduced ballistic performance of such formulations. This
argument is also valid for the high D of ANQ (exceeding that
of RDX) and its disappointing low Gurney energy. Comparable results were found for PETN=HN.
An addition of HNE (with its advantageous oxygen
excess) to NTO did not result in the desired performance

5. Combination of Performance and Security Data


Figure 1 demonstrates how performance and security
characteristics can be composed by addition of single data.
More information is obtained when the performance and
security respectively characteristics are multiplied with each
other. This results in a ``performance gure'' (Figs. 2 and 3),
according to 2 or 3 parameters taken into account (Table 8).
The graph (Fig. 2) shows that common explosives are found
below a virtual border line for which is valid that high
explosives are sensitive, and on the other hand insensitive
explosives, which can be handled without restrictions, do not
have an attractive performance.

6. Application
But also the ``ideal explosive candidate'' can be recognized approaching the aim ``high performance high security'' (Fig. 3). Among the discussed energetic materials we
nd TATB and its cast mixtures with TNT and perhaps also

132 Hans-Heinrich Licht

Figure 3. Performance=Security: exceptions.

DADPyOx. (HMX=TNT is a critical case: It exhibits an


interesting performance/sensitivity ratio when only two tests
are taken into account). The IHE TATB and DADPyOx
accomplish an important precondition as they possess the
best structure for an energetic molecule: Cyclic, aromatic,
highly nitrated, a stabilizing effect from the intramolecular
hydrogen bonding between the nitro and the adjacent amino
groups.
Mixtures of IHE and sensitive but brisant high explosives
may be in practice a reasonable compromise with respect to
performance and sensitivity. The application of the described
procedure allows to test future developments and novel
formulations with regard to a progress towards the ideal
high explosive.
7. References
(1) a) H. H. Licht, ISL-R 105=91; b) H. H. Licht and B. Wanders,
ISL-CO 206=91.

Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 25, 126 132 (2000)


(2) a) M. Defourneaux and L. Jacques, 5th Symposium on Detonation, Pasadena, August 18 21, 1970. b) M. Defourneaux, Sciences et Techniques de l'Armement 3 & 4, 73 (1973).
(3) H. H. Licht and A. Baumann, ISL-RT 521=88.
(4) H. H. Licht, Proc. 16th International Pyrot. Seminar, Jonkoping,
June 24 28, 1991, 314.
(5) H. H. Licht and J. Schwab, ISL-R 112=91.
(6) H. Koenen, K. H. Ide, and K. H. Swart, Explosivstoffe 9, 30 42
(1961).
(7) a) F. Trimborn, Explosivstoffe 15, 169 175 (1967); b) F.
Trimborn and R. Wild, Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 7,
87 90 (1982).
(8) a) H. Ritter and H. H. Licht, J. Heterocycl.Chem. 32, 585 590
(1995); b) H. H. Licht and B. Wanders, ISL-RT 510=89; c) H. H.
Licht, B. Wanders, and H. Ritter, ISL-R 101=89; d) H. H. Licht,
24th Internat. Annual Conference of ICT, June 29 July 2, 1993,
Karlsruhe, Fraunhofer-Institut fur Chemische Technologie, ICT,
Pnztal, Germany.
(9) H. Ritter, I. Bischoff, G. Kriegel, L. Philipp, and H. H. Licht,
ISL-R 130=84.
(10) a) H. Ritter, Ph. Michaud, M. Schafer, B. Wanders, and H. H.
Licht, ISL-PU 360=96; b) H. Ritter and H. H. Licht, ISL-RT
502=96; c) H. Ritter, S. Braun, P. L. Carrette, and H. H. Licht,
ISL-RT 504=98.
(11) a) H. Ritter, N. Fell, and E. Gallois, ISL-RT 502=90; b) H. H.
Licht, H. Ritter, N. Fell, and B. Wanders, ISL-R 101=92; c) H.
Ritter and H. H. Licht, Propellants, Explosives, Pyrotechnics 18,
81 88 (1993).
(12) a) H. H. Licht, S. Braun, M. Schafer, B. Wanders, and H. Ritter,
ISL-R 104=94); b) H. H. Licht and H. Ritter, J. Energ. Mat. 12,
223 235 (1994); c) H. H. Licht, S. Braun, M. Schafer, B.
Wanders, and H. Ritter, ISL-R 124=97.
(13) a) H. Ritter, Ph. Michaud, M. Schafer, B. Wanders, and H. H.
Licht, ISL-RT 502=96; b) H. Ritter, M. Schafer, and H. H. Licht,
ISL-RT 510=96.
(14) a) H. Ritter and Ph. Robert, ISL-RT 506=86; b) H. Ritter, ISL-CO
253=86; c) H. Ritter, ISL-CO 243=89.
(15) H. Ritter, S. Braun, and N. Fell, ISL-R 114=92.
(16) H. Ritter and B. Wanders, ISL-RT 511=8.

(Received January 12, 2000; Ms 2000/003)