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Proceedings Paper

Persistence of explosives under real world conditions
Author(s): Michael R. Papantonakis; Robert Furstenberg; Viet Nguyen; Thomas Fischer; Andrew Howard; Katy Adams; Christopher A. Kendziora; R. Andrew McGill
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Paper Abstract

Those that handle explosives materials invariably become contaminated with particulates of materials, which become entrapped in the grooves of the fingers and are then transferred by contact to other surfaces. These particles provide an evidentiary trail which is useful for security applications, a fact which is enhanced by the fact that many explosives materials of interest have low vapor pressures, augmenting their longevity. The persistence or stability of explosives particles on a substrate is a function of several environmental parameters or particle properties, including vapor pressure, particle size and geometry, airflow, particle field size, substrate topography, humidity, reactivity, adlayers, admixtures, particle areal density, and temperature. In this work we deposited particles of 2,4-dinitrotoluene on standard microscope glass slides by particle sieving and studied their sublimation as a function of temperature and relative humidity. A custom airflow cell allowed us to monitor the particles with in situ photomicroscopy while keeping the airflow over the particles, substrate type, and areal field size constant for each experiment. We define the size-independent radial sublimation velocity for the equivalent sphere of a particle as the parameter to characterize the sublimation rate. The dependence of the sublimation rate for an ensemble of particles on temperature was quantified according the radial sublimation velocity, while the sublimation of 2,4-dinintrotoluene was found to independent of relative humidity between 25-90%.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 May 2016
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9824, Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XVII, 982419 (12 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223910
Show Author Affiliations
Michael R. Papantonakis, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Robert Furstenberg, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Viet Nguyen, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Thomas Fischer, Bundesamt für Ausrüstung, Informationstechnik und Nutzung der Bundeswehr (Germany)
Andrew Howard, American Society for Engineering Education (United States)
Katy Adams, Oak Ridge Institute for Science & Education (United States)
Christopher A. Kendziora, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)
R. Andrew McGill, U.S. Naval Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9824:
Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XVII
Augustus Way Fountain III, Editor(s)

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