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  • Author or Editor: E. M. Kurian x
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The application of thermal analysis in the study of reaction kinetics and reaction mechanisms in combination with presently available powerful analytical tools, in the sphere of materials with particular reference to high energy materials is presented and discussed. Also an attempt has been made to correlate the kinetic data obtained by TA with the performance characteristics, for some important materials.

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The kinetics of the thermal decomposition of 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (TATB) in condensed state has been investigated by high temperature infrared spectroscopy (IR) and thermogravimetry (TG) in conjunction with pyrolysis gas analysis, differential thermal analysis (DTA) and hot stage microscopy. The decomposition proceeds in two main stages under isothermal conditions and the initial stage involving about 24% loss in weight obeys Avrami-Erofe'ev equation (n= 1), and is governed by an activation energy (E) of 150.58 kJ·mol−1 and log(A in s−1) 12.06. The second stage corresponding to 24 to 90% loss in weight gave best fit for Avrami-Erofe'ev equation,n=2, withE=239.56 kJ·mol−1 and log(A in s−1) 19.88 by isothermal TG. The effect of additives, on the initial thermolysis of TATB has also been studied. Evolved gas analysis by IR showed that NH3, CO2, NO2, HCN and H2O are produced in the initial stage of decomposition. The decomposition in KBr matrix in the temperature range 272 to 311.5°C shows relative preferential loss in the -NH2 to -NO2 band intensity which indicates that the rupture of C-NH2 bond, weakened also by the interaction of the NH2 with the neighbouring NO2 group, appears to be the primary step in the thermolysis of TATB.

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The kinetics of the initial stage of thermal decomposition of N-2,4,6 tetranitro-N-methyl aniline (tetryl) in condensed state has been investigated by high temperature infrared spectroscopy (IR) in conjunction with pyrolysis gas analysis and thermogravimetry (TG). The decomposition in KBr matrix in the temperature range of 131 to 145 °C shows rapid decrease in the N-NO2 band intensity as compared to the C-NO2 band. Decomposition products in the initial stage show mainly NO2 gas and picric acid. The studies show that the initial stage of decomposition of tetryl occurs by the rupture of the N-NO2 bond and the energy of activation for this process is 177 kJ/mol.

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The initial low temperature thermal decomposition of various compositions in the binary system—1,3,5 trinitro-1,3,5 triazacyclohexane (RDX) and 2,4,6 trinitro toluene (TNT) has been studied using thermogravimetry, high temperature infrared spectroscopy and photomicroscopy. A linear correlation has been observed between the activation energies for the initial stage of thermal decomposition and velocity of detonation in this system.

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