Date: Fri, 19 Feb 2010 11:21:41 -0800
Reply-To: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
Sender: DCHAS-L Discussion List <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU>
From: "Debbie M. Decker" <dmdecker**At_Symbol_Here**UCDAVIS.EDU>
Subject: Re: urea nitrate, RDX, and PETN
In-Reply-To: <33EBEF33F9721740B892CD7909B06EC3132BF55BDF**At_Symbol_Here**>

Thanks, Perry, for the bit of clarification.

I used to work in the explosives industry with these particu lar materials so I’m very familiar with analytical testing and handling considerations.

PETN is quite static sensitive so it’s important to minimize static.  Bonding and grounding storage and handling container s as best you can is a good practice.

RDX is impact/heat sensitive but relatively “forgiving ,” as explosives go.  It takes not insignificant energy to make it explod e.  But it will burn energetically and will transition to detonation if confined.  Storing it with a loose-fitting top is a good practice.

With tiny, <10 milligram quantities, I think the risks ar e consequently small.  I’m accustomed to working with multiple gra m quantities (sometimes multiple tens of pounds).  If he’s working with vapor phase detection, does that mean he’ll be heating these materials?  If he is, that puts a whole different wrinkle on handling, etc.

Hope this helps,



Debbie M. Decker, Campus Chemical Safety Officer
Environmental Health and Safety
University of California, Davis
1 Shields Ave.
Davis, CA  95616
(530)754-7964/(530)752-4527 (FAX)
Co-Conspirator to Make the World A
Better Place -- Visit www.HeroicS and join the conspiracy

From: DCHAS-L Discu ssion List [mailto:DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU] On Behalf Of Perry Cooper
Sent: Thursday, February 18, 2010 12:50 PM
To: DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**LIST.UVM.EDU
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] urea nitrate, RDX, and PETN

Thanks for the input thus far. 

Debbie:  From what I can gather, he is working on the ability to detect the vapor presence of these compounds  from small milligram quantities. He is doing that in his TNT use protocol. There is no destructive testing.  He didn’t specify to me how much material he wants.  I will get to set the limits on how much material he can work with and store.

Keith: Thanks for the reminder. I knew I’d seen your article but didn’t remember where! I’ll be sharing that article .

I’ll keep you posted on progress!


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