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To assess the potential problem related to 2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT), its post-blast residue was identified and quantified. In the first part of this study laboratory-scale samples of TNT (2 g) were detonated in a small-scale explosivity device (SSED) to evaluate the explosive power and collect post-blast residue for chemical analysis. Initiator size was large relative to the TNT charge; thus, issues arose regarding choice of initiator, residue from the initiator, and afterburning of TNT.
The small-scale explosivity device (SSED) has been used to assess the explosive power of a number of low explosives—smokeless powders (WC-870, Red Dot, Bullseye, Winchester Action Pistol, and IMR-PB), Pyrodex, black powder, and an improvised explosive (TATP). The device requires 2 g of energetic material, a heavy-walled containment vessel, and a standard blast shield to permit use in most laboratories.
The inert materials showwhat might be considered the logical difference between an initia-tor with 450 mg PETN (#8) and one with 29 mg PETN (RP-3). With #8 caps in NaCl, 40% of the case was shattered; in fact, evenan empty brass cartridge was fragmented. This was a concernraised during our previous SSED study—the “zero” was too farfrom zero so that the range of responses was limited. With theFIG. 1—Small-scale explosivity device.
The aim of the body of this work is to devise laboratory tests which allow the investigator to determine the type and the power of an explosive. We have devised a test involving the small-scale explosivity device (SSED) for examining explosive power (explosivity) and rated various explosives. The test used a detonator to initiate approximately 2 grams of energetic material in a British 0. 303&inches; cartridge case.