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Open Access Chemical Stability, Compatibility and Shelf Life of Explosives

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As with all highly energetic substances, explosives are not perfectly stable – their safety and functional features change during ageing. The extent of chemical instability strongly depends on the chemical structure of the explosive – aromatic and aliphatic nitro compounds, secondary nitramines, and organic azides are relatively stable, whereas aliphatic nitrate esters suffer from much lower stability. The rate of ageing of an explosive can be strongly accelerated by incompatibility reactions between the explosive and contact materials. Stability and compatibility of explosives can be investigated with numerous test methods. A classification of these test methods based on test design and type of investigated ageing phenomenon is suggested in this paper. Furthermore, the most important test methods are discussed regarding applicability, advantages, drawbacks, and pitfalls.

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Keywords: COMPATIBILITY; EXPLOSIVES; PROPELLANTS

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2004

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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