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Production of Energetic Nanomaterials by Spray Flash Evaporation

Authors: Martin Klaumünzer, Jakob Hübner, Denis Spitzer


Within this paper, latest results on processing of energetic nanomaterials by means of the Spray Flash Evaporation technique are presented. This technology constitutes a highly effective and continuous way to prepare fascinating materials on the nano- and micro-scale. Within the process, a solution is set under high pressure and sprayed into an evacuated atomization chamber. Subsequent ultrafast evaporation of the solvent leads to an aerosol stream, which is separated by cyclones or filters. No drying gas is required, so the present technique should not be confused with spray dying. Resulting nanothermites, insensitive explosives or propellants and compositions are foreseen to replace toxic (according to REACH) and very sensitive matter in military and civil applications. Diverse examples are given in detail: nano-RDX (n-Cyclotrimethylentrinitramin) and nano-aluminum based systems, mixtures (n-RDX/n-TNT - trinitrotoluene) or even cocrystalline matter like n-CL-20/HMX (Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane/ Cyclotetra-methylentetranitramin). These nanomaterials show reduced sensitivity by trend without losing effectiveness and performance. An analytical study for material characterization was performed by using Atomic Force Microscopy, X-Ray Diffraction, and combined techniques as well as spectroscopic methods. As a matter of course, sensitivity tests regarding electrostatic discharge, impact, and friction are provided.

Keywords: Nanoscale, continuous synthesis, energetic material, nanoexplosive, nanothermite

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[1] Risse, B.; Hassler, D.; Spitzer, D.; Preparation of Nanoparticles by Flash Evapoaration, 2013, WO 2013/117671 A1
[2] Klaumünzer, M., Schlur, L., Schnell, F., Spitzer, D.; Continuous Crystallization of ZnO Nanoparticles by Spray Flash Evaporation vs. Batch Synthesis (2015) Chemical Engineering & Technology, Volume 38, Issue 8, 1, pp. 1477-1484.
[3] Comet, M., Martin, C., Klaumünzer, M., Schnell, F., Spitzer, D.; Energetic nanocomposites for detonation initiation in high explosives without primary explosives; (2015) Applied Physics Letters, 107, 243108
[4] Klaumünzer, M.; Hübner, J.; Kryschi, C.; Spitzer, D.; Tunig the stabilization of Al-nanoparticles by surface modification with organic molecules, 2016, in preparation.
[5] Klaumünzer, M., Kahnt, A., Burger, A., Mačković, M., Münzel, C., Srikantharajah, R., Spiecker, E., Hirsch, A., Peukert, W., Guldi, D.M.; Surface functionalization and electronic interactions of ZnO nanorods with a porphyrin derivative; (2014) ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 6 (9), pp. 6724-6730.
[6] Aitipamula et al., Cryst. Growth Des., 2012, 12, 2147−2152
[7] Spitzer, D., Risse, B., Schnell, F., Pichot, V., Klaumünzer, M., Schaefer, M.R.; Continuous engineering of nano-cocrystals for medical and energetic applications; (2014) Scientific Reports, 4
[8] Klaumünzer, M., Pessina, F., Spitzer, D.; The Puzzle of Desensitizing RDX through Recrystallization at the Nanoscale; (2016), adapted, Journal of Energetic Materials, accepted