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Title:
PHLEGMATISATION OF AN EXPLOSIVE IN AN AQUEOUS SUSPENSION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2014/204374
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present invention relates to a method for phlegmatising an explosive (21) in an aqueous suspension (20), containing a dispersion solution (24) and a dispersion decomposer (23). It is characterised in that the phlegmatising agent (25) is deposited on the surface of the explosive (21) at low temperature by means of their opposite electric charges. The invention also relates to a device and an explosive phlegmatised by means of said method and device.

Inventors:
MAZUREK MICHAL (SE)
MAZUREK KAROLINA (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/SE2014/000080
Publication Date:
December 24, 2014
Filing Date:
June 17, 2014
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
EURENCO BOFORS AB (SE)
International Classes:
B01F33/80; C06B23/00; B01F33/81; B01F33/84; C06B45/22
Foreign References:
US4357185A1982-11-02
US20050092407A12005-05-05
GB574271A1945-12-31
GB574879A1946-01-24
Other References:
See also references of EP 3010873A4
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DAN ERICSSON (Patents and Trademarks, Karlskoga, SE)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Phlegmatisation method for phlegmatising an explosive (21) in an aqueous suspension (20) containing a dispersion solution (24) and a dispersion decomposer (23), characterised in that the phlegmatising method comprises the following steps in the order specified below :

- preparation of an aqueous suspension (20) containing 75-80 wt % of water (19) and 20-25 wt % of an explosive (21),

- preparation of a dispersion solution (24) containing 40-80 wt % of water (19), 20-50 wt % of a phlegmatising agent (25), 0-10 wt % of a dispersing agent (26), 2-4 wt % of inorganic hydroxides, and 0-1 wt % of stabilisers and preservat ives ,

- preparation of a dispersing agent (23) containing 0-10 wt % of water (19) and 90-100 wt % of a dispersion-decomposing agent (22),

- addition of dispersion solution (24) to the aqueous suspension (20) at a mixing ratio of 4-5 parts by weight of the dispersion solution (24) to 400-500 parts by weight of the aqueous suspension (20) ,

- heating of the aqueous suspension (20) to approx.

30 'C,

- deposition of the phlegmatising agent (25) on the surface of the explosive (21) by means of their opposite electric charges as a result of adding the dispersion decomposer (23) to the aqueous suspension (20) at a mixing ratio of 0.5-1 part by weight of the dispersion decomposer (23) to 404-405 parts by weight of the aqueous suspension (20),

- heating of the aqueous suspension (20) to 30-45 °C,

- cooling of the aqueous suspension (20) to 15-25 °C,

- separation of the phlegmatised explosive (27) from the aqueous suspension (20) by filtration,

- washing of the phlegmatised explosive (27) by rinsing with water (19), and

- drying of the phlegmatised explosive (27) .

Phlegmatisation method according to claim 1, characterised in that the dispersion decomposer (23) also contains graphite at a ratio of 0-1 part by weight of graphite to 300-400 parts by weight of water and in that the dispersion-decomposing agent (22) contains carboxylic acid.

Phlegmatisation device (1) for phlegmatising an explosive (21) by depositing a phlegmatising agent on the surface of the explosive by means of their opposite electric charges in an aqueous suspension (20) containing a dispersion solution (24) and a dispersion decomposer (23), characterised in that the phlegmatisation device (1) comprises the following main components:

- a first jacketed mixing unit (2) equipped with a first stirrer (6) and a discharge valve (15) for the preparation of the aqueous suspension (20) containing the explosive (21) and for mixing in of the dispersion solution (24) and dispersion decomposer (23) in an aqueous suspension (20) while s irring, a second mixing unit (4) equipped with a second stirrer (28) connected to the first mixing unit (2) via a first tube (9), a regulating valve (14), and a regulating pump (16) for preparing the dispersion solution (24) and transferring the dispersion solution (24) to the first mixing unit (2), a third mixing unit (3) equipped with a third stirrer (7), with the third mixing unit (3) being connected to the first mixing unit (2) via a second tube 11 and a discharge valve 12 for preparing the dispersion decomposer (23) and transferring the dispersion decomposer (23) to the first mixing unit ( 2 ) , and a jacketed collecting vessel (5) equipped with a filter insert for collecting the aqueous suspension

(20) containing a phlegmatised explosive (27) from the first mixing unit (2) and for filtering, washing, and drying of the phlegmatised explosive

(27) .

Phlegmatised explosive (27) containing one or more of the explosives (21) PETN, TNT, RDX, or HMX and a phlegmatising agent (25) containing a low-density (LD) polyethylene, characterised in that the phlegmatised explosive (27) is phlegmatised by a phlegmatisation method according to Claim 1 and in a phlegmatisation device according to Claim 3.

Description:
,

PHLEGMATISATION OF AN EXPLOSIVE IN AN AQUEOUS SUSPENSION

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention concerns a method and a device for phlegmatising an explosive in an aqueous suspension. The invention also concerns an explosive phlegmatised by means of said method and device.

BACKGROUND AND PRIOR ART

It is known in the prior art that an explosive such as PETN , TNT, RDX, or HMX can be phlegmatised by means of surface treatment with a phlegmatising agent, usually a wax, so that the explosive is desensitised in order to prevent accidental initiation of the explosive during processing, for example on extrusion of explosive charges. Phlegmatisation is ordinarily carried out in an aqueous suspension containing a finely dispersed wax. The wax suspension is heated to a temperature immediately above the melting point of the wax, whereupon the wax melts and is deposited as wax particles on the surface of the explosive crystals. The wax suspension is then cooled to a temperature below the solidification point of the wax so that it solidifies and forms a protective coating on the explosive .

A problem with said method is that the process of melting and solidification of the wax is lengthy, consumes energy, and is harmful to the environment. A further drawback is caused by the unevenness of wax deposition on the explosive surface, resulting in problems such as uncoated surfaces due to uneven distribution of the wax in the aqueous suspension. OBJECT OF THE INVENTION AND CHARACTERISTICS THEREOF -

A principal object of the present invention is to provide a simple, energy-saving, and environmentally friendly method for phlegmatising explosives in an aqueous suspension. Said object, as well as other objects not enumerated here, is achieved in a satisfactory manner by what is presented in the independent claims of the present specification.

Embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the independent claims.

The present invention therefore provides a simpler and more environmentally friendly method of phlegmatisation in an aqueous suspension containing a phlegmatising agent and an emulsifying agent.

The method is characterised by comprising the following production steps in the order specified below: preparation of an aqueous suspension containing 75-80 wt % of water and 20-25 wt % of an explosive, preparation of a dispersion solution containing 40-80 wt % of water, 20-50 wt % of a phlegmatising agent, 0-10 wt % of a dispersing agent, 2-4 inorganic hydroxides, and 0-2 wt % of stabilisers and preservatives, preparation of a dispersing agent containing 0-10 wt % of water and 90-100 wt % of a dispersion-decomposing substance, dispersion of the explosive in the aqueous suspension by mixing the dispersion solution into the aqueous suspension at a mixing ratio of 4-5 parts by weight of the dispersion solution to 400-500 parts by weight of the aqueous suspens io , heating of the aqueous suspension to approx. 30 ° C, addition of the dispersion decomposer to the aqueous suspension at a mixing ratio of 0.5-1 parts by weight of the dispersion decomposer to 404-405 parts by weight of the aqueous suspension, which causes the dispersion solution to decompose and the phlegmatising agent to be deposited on the surface of the explosive due to their opposite electric charges , heating of the aqueous suspension to 30-45 °C, cooling of the aqueous suspension to 15-25 ° C, separation of the phlegmatised explosive from the aqueous suspension by filtration, washing of the filtered, phlegmatised explosive by rinsing with water, drying of the filtered, washed, and phlegmatised explosive with warm air.

The following applies according to further embodiments of the phlegmat isation method according to the invention: the dispersion decomposer also contains graphite at a ratio of 0-1 part by weight of graphite to 300-400 parts by weight of water, and the dispersion-decomposing agent contains carboxylic acid.

The present invention also provides a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective phlegmatisation device for phlegmatising an explosive in an aqueous suspension containing a dispersion solution and a dispersion decomposer .

The device is characterised by comprising the following main components: a first jacketed mixing unit equipped with a first stirrer and a discharge valve for preparing an aqueous suspension of the explosive and mixing the dispersion solution and the n decomposer in the aqueous suspension while a second mixing unit equipped with a second stirrer and connected to the first mixing unit via a first tube, a regulating valve, and a regulating pump for preparing the dispersion solution, a third mixing unit equipped with a third stirrer and connected to the first mixing unit via a second tube and a second discharge valve for preparing the dispersion decomposer and transferring said dispersion decomposer to the first mixing unit, a jacketed vessel equipped with a filter insert for collecting the aqueous suspension containing a phlegmatised explosive from the first mixing unit and for filtering, washing and drying the phlegmatised explosive.

The present suspension also provides a phlegmatised explosive containing any of the explosives PETN, TNT, RDX or HMX and the phlegmatising agent low-density (LD) polyethylene .

The invention is characterised in that the phlegmatised explosive is phlegmatised by means of said method and said device . ADVANTAGES AND EFFECTS OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a series of advantages and effects compared to conventional phlegmat isation methods, with the most important being as follows: a more even and denser coating, with improvement in

compression density from 0.02 [g/cm 3 ] to 0.04 [g/cm 3 ], a safer product having reduced impact sensitivity, with a drop hammer test showing a reduction in impact sensitivity of up to 100%, a simpler, more environmentally friendly, and more cost- effective production method, a coating found to show reduced exudation of the explosive in high-temperature storage, which allows storage time to be prolonged, a safer product showing reduced sensitivity to

electrostatic discharges, and a product with improved flowability on use. The invention has been defined in the following patent claims and will now be described in somewhat greater detail with reference to the attached figures.

Further advantages and effects will become clear on studying and considering the following detailed descriptions of the invention in reference to the attached f igures :

Figs, la, b, c, and d show schematic views of a mechanism for depositing a phlegmatising agent on the surface of an explosive by means of their opposite electric charges .

Fig. 2 shows a schematic flow diagram of phlegmatisation of an explosive in an aqueous suspension according to the invention.

Fig. 3 shows a schematic view of the device used for phlegmatisation of an explosive according to the schematic flow diagram of Fig. 2.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The invention is based on the principle that a phlegmat ising agent, preferably polyethylene, is deposited on the surface of the explosive by means of their opposite electric charges. The mechanism is shown schematically in Figs, la, lb, lc, and Id.

Fig. la shows an anionic aqueous suspension containing crystals of an explosive to be phlegmatised with a phlegmat ising agent, preferably polyethylene (PE) , which is dispersed in the aqueous suspension using an anion-active dispersing agent. The continuous circles in Fig. la represent PE particles, with negatively charged hydrophilic components of the dispersing agent extending outward from said PE particles. Ions having an opposite electric charge are bound to the hydrophilic component of the dispersing agent, which is of great significance for the stability of the dispersion. The electric potential in the double layer decreases linearly with the distance from the surface of the PE particle. When the potential drops below a certain value, the dispersion decomposes and the PE particles agglomerate . Figs, lb and lc show the anionic aqueous dispersion during and after addition of a dispersion decomposer (such as CH 3 COOH) . Addition of the dispersion decomposer causes protonation of the aqueous dispersion by positive ions (H + ) , which causes the electric potential to drop to a value at which the dispersion decomposes in the aqueous solution and the PE particles are deposited directly on the crystal surface. The dispersion decomposer destabilises the dispersion and imparts a positive charge to the PE particles. The PE particles can no longer agglomerate with one another when the dispersion decomposes because ions of the opposite electric charge on the surface of the explosive crystals have sufficient attractive force (the crystals are considerably larger than PE molecules, which facilitates the attraction) to attract the PE particles onto their surfaces, Fig. Id.

F'ig. 2 is a flow chart of phlegmatisation of an explosive 21 in an aqueous suspension 20 that specifies the substances and operations involved. An aqueous suspension 20 containing 75-80 wt % of water 22 and 20-25 wt % of an explosive 21 is prepared. In a parallel step, a dispersion solution 24 and a dispersion decomposing solution 23, also referred to as a dispersion decomposer, are also prepared. The dispersion solution 24 contains 40-80 wt % of water 22, 20-50 wt ¾ of a phlegmatising agent 25, 0-10 wt % of a dispersing agent 26, also referred to as an emulsifier, 2-4 wt % of a pH-increasing agent containing one or more inorganic hydroxides, and 0-1 wt % of stabilisers and preservatives. The dispersion decomposer 23 contains 0-5 wt % of water and 95-100 wt % of a dispersion-decomposing agent .

It has been shown in experiments that polyethylene (PE) waxes, particularly PE of the LD (low-density) type, are suitable as the phlegmatising agent 25. Other phlegmatising agents 25 of interest are PE waxes of the HD (high-density) type, PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene ) , MDPE (medium-density polyethylene), LLDPE (linear low-density polyethylene), beeswax, palm oil, montan wax, candelilla wax, and paraffin oil .

The dispersing agent 26, also referred to as a surfactant, is preferably of the anion-active type. An ion-active surfactants are surfactants in which the hydrophilic component is composed of sulphates (R-0-S03-) , sulphonates (R-S03-) , or carboxylates (R-C02-) . The R group is usually an alkyl group, or in certain cases an aromatic. A suitable dispersing agent 26 contains one or more of the following anion-active surfactants: ammonium dodecyl sulphate (CH 3 (CH 2 ) 10 CH 2 OSO 3 NH 4 ) , sodium dodecyl sulphate (CH 3 (CH 2 ) u OS0 3 Na) , sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate (Ci2H25C 6 H 4 S0 3 a ) , sodium laureth sulphate

(CH 3 (CH 2 ) IQCH 2 (OCH CH 2 ) n OSS0 3 Na) , and sodium stearate

(C 18 H 35 NaG) 2 ) . A suitable pH-increasing agent contains one or more inorganic hydroxides, preferably sodium hydroxide and/or potassium hydroxide. A suitable dispersion-decomposing agent contains a carboxylic acid, preferably acetic acid. The proper choice of a dispersion-decomposing agent improves conductivity and the phlegmatising effect, while allowing more thorough coverage of the explosive crystals with a thin polymer layer. In addition to more even coating, this also provides stronger adhesion. Acetic acid has been shown in experiments to provide particularly favourable results in anionic solutions. The explosive 27, preferably any of the explosives PETN, TNT, RDX or HMX, is mixed with water 22 at a ratio of 100 parts by weight of the explosive 21 to 300-400 parts by weight of water, with graphite being added if applicable at a ratio of 0-1 part by weight of graphite to 300-400 parts by weight of water. After the aqueous suspension 20, the dispersion solution 24, and the dispersion decomposer 23 have been individually prepared, the dispersion 24 is added while stirring to the aqueous suspension 20 in an amount equivalent to 4-15 parts by weight of dispersion solution 24 to 400-500 parts by weight of the aqueous suspension 20.

After the dispersion solution 24 is mixed in, the aqueous suspension 20 is heated while stirring to approx. 30 ° C. After this, the dispersion decomposer 23 is added while stirring to the aqueous suspension 20 in an amount equivalent to 0.5-1 part by weight of the dispersion decomposer to 400-500 parts by weight of the aqueous suspension 20. The revolution speed should be in the range of 100-300 rpm, and preferably 150 rpm.

The addition of acetic acid reduces the pH value of the aqueous suspension 20, causing the dispersion to be protonated and decomposed, with the result that polyethylene is deposited as particles and absorbed on the surface of the explosive. In an alternative embodiment, not shown, the dispersion is decomposed via deprotonat ion of a cationic aqueous suspension 20. In a further alternative embodiment, the dispersion is decomposed by stirring in a non-ionic aqueous suspension 20.

The wax suspension 20 is heated to 35-40 °C in order to reduce the viscosity of the mixture, reduce surface tension, and improve conductivity, and is then slowly cooled to approx. 25 ° C. The phlegmatised explosive 27 is separated from the aqueous suspension 20 by filtration. The explosive 27 is then washed in purified water to eliminate any residues of the dispersion decomposer and dried, preferably with warm air.

Fig. 2 shows a preferred embodiment of a processing device 1 for phlegmatising an explosive 21 in an aqueous suspension 20 comprising a dispersion solution 24, containing a phlegmatising agent 25 and a dispersing agent 26, and a dispersion decomposer 23. The device 1 comprises a first mixing unit 2 for preparing the aqueous suspension 20 containing the explosive 21 and water 19, a second mixing unit 4 for preparing the dispersion solution 24 containing the phlegmatising agent and the dispersing agent, and a third mixing unit 3 for preparing the dispersion decomposer 23 containing water 19 and a dispersion-decomposing substance 22.

A jacketed collecting vessel 5 having a filter insert, also referred to as a Nutsche filter, is configured under the first mixing unit 2 for collecting, filtering, washing, and drying the phlegmatised explosive 27. The vessel 5 is also connected to a chemical outlet 18 via a third tube 10 and a filter pump 17.

The three mixing units 2, 3, and 4 are positioned relative to one another in such a manner that the dispersion solution 24 and the dispersion decomposer 23 can easily be transferred from the respective mixing unit 4 or 3 to the aqueous suspension 20 in the first mixing unit 2. The second mixing unit 4, which is positioned beside the first mixing unit 2, is connected to the first mixing unit 2 via a first tube 9, a first regulating valve 14, and a pump 16. The third mixing unit 3 is positioned at a higher level than the first mixing unit 2 and connected to the first mixing unit 2 via a second tube 11 and a second drain valve or opening valve 12. A water tube 8 for filling of water 19 is also connected to the first mixing unit 2 via a third regulating valve 13.

In an alternative embodiment, not shown, the third mixing unit 4 is positioned at a higher level than the first mixing unit 2, allowing the difference in height to be used for transferring the dispersion solution 23. All three mixing units 3,4,5 are equipped with stirrers 6, 7, 25 and heating coils, but the heating coils are not shown in Fig . 2. The wax suspension 20 containing a phlegmatised explosive 27 is discharged from the first mixing unit 2 via the bottom valve 15 into the Nutsche filter 5. The phlegmatised explosive is then separated/filtered from the aqueous suspension 20 by pumping the aqueous suspension 20 using the filter pump 17 via the insert of the Nutsche filter 5 and via a fourth tube to a chemical outlet 18 for recovery or destruction of the chemical residues.

The invention is not limited to the embodiments shown; rather, it can be modified in various ways within the scope of the patent claims.