Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.65, No.1 (2004)

Research paper

Synthesis and properties of lead picrates
Makoto Matsukawa, Takehiro Matsunaga, Tadahiko Iwasaki, Masatake Yoshida, and Shuzo Fujiwara


Picric acid is known to react with metals to form highly unstable metallic picrates, which have been implicated in a number of serious explosive accidents. In this study, lead picrates were synthesized by several methods, and the thermodynamic and explosive properties such as sensitivity were examined. Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) results revealed that lead picrates had several heat decomposition patterns depending on the synthesis method, and they had lower temperature of start of exothermic reaction than sodium picrate had. The heat of decomposition of lead picrates was found to be lower than that of picric acid. Lead picrate from lead acetate and picric acid had lower activation energy of thermal decomposition than the other lead picrates. Thermogravimetry analysis and Karl Fischer analysis confirmed that lead picrates contained crystalline H2O, which dehydrated at above 375 K. And, lead picrates did not have property of fusion. Drop hammer test results showed that lead picrates had high strike sensitivity, whereas the lead picrates had low friction sensitivity in friction tests, attributable to the presence of crystalline H2O. The ignition temperatures of lead picrates were found to be in the range 543.9–600.3 K.

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