OUR CHEMISTRY LABORATORY PROVIDES THE CRITICAL ON SITE ANALYTIC AND SYNTHESIS SUPPORT FOR CHEMICAL FORMULATIONS IN ENERGETIC MATERIALS
As leaders in the areas of specialty energetic materials and explosives research and development our powder and propellant processing and chemistry facifilites has eleven full time employees. This, combined with well over 100 years of powder synthesis, blending, handling and R & D experience makes our in house capabilities second to none. Our in-house powder processing facilities and expert associates also allows us to work independent of vendors for most of our energetic materials needs.
All explosives have specific temperature and time ranges over which they may be used before
some type of decomposition occurs.
The Chandler, AZ powder house is a stand-alone, reinforced concrete structure which contains six separate production bays. It includes a number of others areas for powder breakdown, equipment and chemical storage and an area containing analytical instrumentation as well. The facility is equipped with full video feeds for each bay and most explosive and pyrotechnic manufacturing processes are controlled remotely from a “safe” control room area. Video feeds are also transmitted to a separate office area where personnel and processing may be monitored. The manufacturing area is equipped with full temperature and humidity control to insure that powders are prepared under conditions that are appropriate for that powder while maintaining safety. The powder processing facility routinely manufactures pyrotechnic blends, primary and secondary explosives, propellants and prepares other materials for use in PSEMC’s components. The facility is also equipped to manufacture specialty formulations and powders to specification via a wide assortment of mixing and blending techniques and versatile remote reactor systems. The powder house maintains a suite of analytical instrumentation to assess particle size, safety properties and calorific output on the materials produced. The facility also maintains a variety of heated and unheated storage magazines for various components and powders. There are four heated magazines for materials that are in process and seven storage magazines with a total capability of nearly 1 ton of powder.
- Breakdown of primary and secondary explosives and pyrophoric metals for pyrotechnic manufacture
- Oxidizer grinding and sizing for use in a variety of pyrotechnic formulations.
- Mixing and blending of various pyrotechnics for use in manufacturing
- Preparation of primary and secondary explosives for manufacturing
- Blending, casting, and extrusion of propellant and foamed explosives.
- Custom explosives, pyrotechnic and propellant synthesis
Chemistry is the base technology for all energetic materials. The PSEMC chemistry lab has two wet synthesis labs for custom synthesis, development of new procedures and materials, scale-up and pure R&D efforts specializing in novel primary and secondary explosives. The analytical lab maintains a full suite of analytic instrumentation and has full capability for determination of chemical structure and properties, physical properties and safety properties for high sensitivity materials.
- Thermal Analysis – DSC (3), HR-TGA (2), TMA, Thermal conductivity
- Spectroscopic: FTIR (ATR, Transmission and Micro-reflectance), Raman, UV-NIR, XRF
- Chromatography: HPLC (UV-VIS DAD detection, 2), Ion Chromatography
- Mass Spectrometry: ESI and APCI capability, MS, MS-MS and Ion Trap capability
- Physical Properties: Surface area, gas pyncnometry (Density), Digital/Optical Microscopes (to 1000X)
- Safety Properties: LEESA (Low) and High Energy ESD testing, Impact Testing, Compatibility testing
- Evaluation of unknown materials
- Support of engineering and production activities including troubleshooting and failure analysis
Synthesis and Development Capabilities:
- New explosive development with tailored performance capability
- Manufacture of unusual legacy materials no longer in production
- Novel insensitive high nitrogen secondary explosives
- Materials (explosives, gas generating compositions) with extreme temperature capability
- Organic and inorganic synthesis design and scale-up
- NAVSEAINST 8020.5C (AOP-7) Material Qualification Testing
- New (Green) Energetic Materials Development – DBX-1, KDNP, MTX-1 (no heavy metals or perchlorates)
- Proven performance – numerous materials transitioned to production and/or military qualified
includes energetic coordination compounds CP (1979), ClCP, BNCP (2000)
A look inside our lab