ISSN 1070-4272, Russian Journal of Applied Chemistry, 2016, Vol. 89, No. 6, pp. 975−979. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2016.
Original Russian Text © A.A. Kotomin, S.A. Dushenok, Ya.I. Zaporozhchenko, S.M. Yakovlev, A.S. Kozlov, M.A. Ilyushin,
2016, published in Zhurnal Prikladnoi
Khimii, 2016, Vol. 89, No. 6, pp. 819−824.
Detonability of Aqueous Suspensions of Explosives
A. A. Kotomin*, S. A. Dushenok, Ya. I. Zaporozhchenko, S. M. Yakovlev,
A. S. Kozlov, and M. A. Ilyushin
St. Petersburg State Institute of Technology (Technical University), Moskovskii pr. 26, St. Petersburg, 190013 Russia
Received June 8, 2016
Abstract—The detonability of aqueous suspensions of solid explosives (pentaerythritol tetranitrate, cyclotri-
methylenetrinitramine, cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine) was used as a basis for evaluating the explosion safety
of these substances in production and transportation. The dependence of the critical detonation parameters of the
suspensions on the content and dispersity of the explosives was determined. A new common method for calculat-
ing the critical detonation diameters of suspensions of crystalline explosives in organic media and in water was
developed. A novel procedure for preparing uniform sedimentation-resistant aqueous suspensions of crystalline
explosives was suggested and developed.
Major accidents in transportation of explosives led
to formulating more stringent requirements and rules
of their transportation. Phlegmatization of individual
powerful explosives with water became a necessary
condition for transportation of large amounts of such
substances. Numerous studies were performed to
evaluate the explosion safety of aqueous suspensions of
crystalline explosives using such well-known criteria as
sensitivity to mechanical actions (impact and friction),
shockwave sensitivity, fast and slow heating, etc. .
On the other hand, only a few studies deal with such
an important criterion as detonability. In this study,
we examined the detonability of aqueous suspensions
of solid explosives, determining the possibility of the
detonation propagation from the initiation focus to the
bulk of the suspension. As a measure of the detonability
we use the critical detonation diameter d
stable detonation does not propagate in explosives.
This study was aimed both at direct experimental
determination of the critical detonation diameters of
aqueous suspensions of the most important standard
explosives and at the development of a calculation
procedure allowing evaluation of the detonability of
aqueous suspensions of various crystalline explosives
with variation of the dispersity of the explosive and its
content in the suspension.
We determined experimentally the critical detona-
tion diameters of aqueous suspensions of pentaerythri-
tol tetranitrate (PETN), cyclotrimethylenetrinitramine
(RDX), and cyclotetramethylenetetranitramine (HMX)
of different dispersity. The speciﬁ c surface area of each
sample of the powdered explosive, S
, was determined
from its gas permeability with a PSKh-12 device. The
suspensions were prepared in an apparatus by a vibra-
tion vacuum procedure. The aggregative and sedimen-
tation stability of the suspensions was ensured by their
thickening with a small addition of a water-soluble
polymer (agar, 1.5 wt % relative to water), which did
not noticeably affect the critical detonation diameter of
the suspensions. The uniformity of the suspensions was
checked by gravimetric analysis.
Charges of suspensions were prepared in thin-walled
poly(ethylene terephthalate) tubes of different diameters
to determine the critical detonation diameters of the sus-
pensions of the explosives practically without a shell. We
determined experimentally the minimal charge diameter
below which stable detonation did not propagate in the
charges. The accuracy of determining d
was 0.5 mm.