Chemical and Phase Stabilities of Energetic Materials at High Pressures
F1-A2 (Phase 1)

Download the 2013 Project Report

Commonly available non-conventional energetic materials such as H2O2, ammonium nitrates (AN), and reactive materials (e.g., mixtures of metals and metal oxides), as well as conventional plastic explosives primarily made of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX), cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine (HMX), and triaminotrinitrobenzene (TATB), are often subjected to materials of terrorists acts and become threats to homeland security. Thus, characterizing thermochemical properties of these materials at the blast-relevant conditions of pressure, temperature, and composition is critical for developing chemical methods to mitigate the associated threats. In this year, our research efforts have focused on investigation of AN and its mixtures with hexane (i.e., ANFO) and aluminum (Ammonal), using diamond anvil cells, confocal micro-Raman spectroscopy, and synchrotron X-ray diffraction. The major results include determination of (i) the phase diagram of AN to 40 GPa and 400 C, confirming the presence of the newly proposed phase IV’, (ii) the decomposition of AN occurring at the onset of melting of AN, and (iii) the stress and chemical effects on chemical sensitivities of AN, providing insight into high chemical sensitivity of ANFO and Ammonal. These results are significant not only to understanding of fundamental properties of these high-value energetic materials, but also to gaining insights into what causes chemical sensitivity in energetic materials and finding the conditions limiting blast or detonation of AN and energetic materials mixtures.

My experience with ALERT has caused me to think about my research program well beyond its long-term fundamental values to more near-term focused applications and customer-driven needs.
- Choong-Shik Yoo, Project Lead
Project Leader
  • Choon-Shik Yoo
    Professor
    Washington State University
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Faculty and Staff Currently Involved in Project
  • Minseob Kim
    Post Doctoral
    Washington State University
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  • Haoyan Wei
    Post Doctoral
    Washington State University
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Students Currently Involved in Project
  • Mihindra Dunuwille
    Washington State University
  • Ranga Dias
    Washington State University
  • Young Jay Ryu
    Washington State University