Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.68, No.4 (2007)

Research paper

Thermal stability of triacetone triperoxide
Robert Matyas and Jiri Pachman


Thermal stability of triacetone triperoxide (3,3,6,6,9,9-hexamethyl-1,2,4,5,7,8-hexoxonane, TATP) was investigated by differential thermal analysis (DTA). Two main aspects have been found to influence the thermal stability of raw (not recrystallized) TATP - type of acid used for catalysis and its amount expressed here as acid to acetone molar ratio (nc na-1). The decomposition of TATP begins around 145ºC when hydrochloric or nitric acid is used. Altering the nc na-1 ratio from 2.5×10-4 to 5×10-1 does not have measurable influence in case of these acids. A significant influence was however found when using sulfuric or perchloric acid. A low concentration of these two acids (nc na-1 ≤ 1×10-2) yields product that decomposes above 145ºC just as seen in case of pure (recrystallized) TATP. Higher concentrations however yield TATP that decomposes during melting or even in solid phase. It was found that the lower thermal stability is a result of combination of two factors - overall residual acidity within the TATP crystals and probably acid strength. A dependency of onsets of decomposition on heating rate was found to be steeper for TATP catalyzed by sulfuric acid than for TATP catalyzed by either hydrochloric, nitric or perchloric acid.

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Triacetone triperoxide, 3,3,6,6,9,9-hexamethyl-1,2,4,5,7,8-hexoxonane, TATP, Thermal stability, DTA.

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