- Chemical Name: lead 2,4,6-trinitroresorcinate
- Chemical Formula: C6H3N3O8Pb
Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology,
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York,
Volume 10, Explosives and Propellants,
Pages 5, 20-21.
- CAS Registry Number: [15245-44-0]
- Detonation Temperature: 260°C (500°F)
Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary,
13th Edition, Revised by Richard J. Lewis, Sr.,
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York,
- Volume of lead styphnate in each
700 μm diameter by 1 mm deep combustion chamber:
- Density of lead styphnate: 1.5 mg/mm3.
- Mass of lead styphnate in each combustion chamber:
- There are two forms of
six-sided monohydrate crystals
and small rectangular crystals. Lead styphnate varies in color
from yellow to brown. Lead styphnate is particularly sensitive to
fire and the discharge of static electricity. When dry, it can be
readily detonated by static discharges from the human body. The
longer and narrower the crystals, the more susceptible lead
styphnate is to static electricity. Lead styphnate does not react
with metals and is less sensitive to shock and friction than
Lead styphnate is only slightly
soluble in water and methyl alcohol and may be neutralized by a
sodium carbonate solution. It is used as a component in primer
and detonator mixtures. It is stable in storage, even at elevated
- 13-1. Properties of Initiating Explosives. Initiating
explosives include lead azide, mercury fulminate, lead styphnate
and tetracene. They are very sensitive to friction, heat, and
impact. When involved in a fire, they can be expected to
detonate without burning. Quantities in storage and in process
must be limited to the smallest practicable amounts. Bulk
initiating explosives will be stored in conductive containers and
if more than 10 grams are stored for more than 4 hours, they
shall be kept wet with water or with water-alcohol mixtures.
Every effort shall be made to prevent the liquid from freezing,
and if frozen, explosives material itself shall be handled.
Whenever processing requires the scooping or pouring of dry
initiating explosives, the operation will be done by remote
control. Dust from initiating explosives operations shall be
collected with a wet-type aspirator system. The aspirator bottle
or container shall be located as close to the dust intake point
as practicable. The aspirator bottle will contain an approved
desensitizing agent or be housed in a protective shield. No
valves, where explosives may lodge, shall be in the vacuum line.
The vacuum will be controlled to preclude excessive bubbling.
Because explosives may be present, extreme caution will be used
when disassembling the system to clean it. Contaminated sections
of vacuum systems shall be cleaned daily by circulating an
approved desensitizing solution through the tube or pipe.
Dry-type collection systems will not be used. Emphasis must be
placed upon cleanliness and general housekeeping since
contamination of these explosives with foreign or gritty material
markedly increases their sensitivity. Rooms in which initiating
explosives are handled shall have floors of lead or other
nonsparking flooring material. Flooring shall always be of
conductive finish. Walls of the rooms should be covered with
waterproof material having a smooth hard gloss finish. Frequent
washing of the rooms with a neutralizing solution is necessary.
Drying of the explosives is usually accomplished in muslin
squares on a drying table or by a special air blowing device with
temperatures limited to between 122 degrees Fahrenheit and 140
degrees Fahrenheit (50 degrees Celsius and 60 degrees Celsius).
Bulk initiating explosives shall be packaged and transported in
accordance with current DOT regulations pertaining to the
specific initiating explosive.
b. Lead styphnate. This explosive is particularly sensitive
to discharge of static electricity, and the dry material can be
readily ignited by static discharges from the human body. Lead
styphnate is approximately as sensitive as mercury fulminate to
impact and has about the same order of friction sensitivity as
lead azide. It should be stored under water in conductive rubber
containers. Where practicable, lead styphnate should be in the
water-wet state while being processed. Water should be removed
by decanting. It is usually dried by suction filtering, washing
with alcohol, and drying in an oven at 50 to 60 degrees Celsius.
The alcohol wash is needed to prevent caking since breaking up
caked explosives is hazardous. Conventional methods of de-
watering explosives such as placing material in cloth then
squeezing and draining on inclined smooth surfaces such as glass
are not recommended. To remove styphnate from receptacles, a
stream of water should be used to wash the material from the
inclined container. If this procedure is impractical, the
styphnate may be carefully removed by hand, provided rubber
gloves are worn. The use of spatulas, rakes, or scoops should be
prohibited. Containers equipped with removal rubber liners
facilitate handling of the wet explosives and are recommended.
Lead styphnate tends to form a sensitive scaly deposit on the
sides of the containers and collection sumps. The scale can be
removed with 5 to 10 percent sodium hydroxide or sodium acetate
solutions. The removal of the scale with tools or other
instruments shall not be attempted. Operations should provide
for eye protection. Conductive flooring and table tops, without
cracks or crevices in which explosives can lodge, are required.
Conductive footwear is required. All equipment shall be
18 Sep 73
FRANKFORD ARSENAL PHILADELPHIA PA
SUSCEPTIBILITY OF ELECTRIC PRIMERS TO ELECTROSTATIC DISCHARGE.
Schlack, A. F.
This paper was presented at the Fifteenth Explosives Safety Seminar,
held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, San Francisco, CA on 18-20 September,
1973, Vol. I, AD 775-580 (73-10001), P 637-660.
Availability: NTIS/DTIC - Approved for public release; distribution is
Priming mixtures made with lead styphnate are highly sensitive to
electrostatic discharge. If stray static charges ignite the primer
during handling, serious injury and/or damage could result, especially
if the primer is assembled in a loaded cartridge. Therefore, several
studies were initiated at Frankford Arsenal to decrease the
susceptibility of the primer to electrostatic discharge by modifying the
priming composition. It was found that the addition of boron to the
composition decreased its electrostatic sensitivity. Another study
indicated that substituting Trisal for lead styphnate also decreased the
mixture's sensitivity. Plans for future studies are also discussed in
SEARCH TERMS: 1: ELECTROSTATIC HAZARDS 3: priming mixture 4: lead
styphnate 5: electrostatic sensitivity 1: ELECTROSTATIC HAZARDS 3:
priming mixture 4: lead styphnate 5: experimental study 1: HANDLING
HAZARDS 3: electric primer 4: electrostatic sensitivity 5: lead
styphnate 1: PERSONNEL HAZARDS 3: electrostatic initiation 4: electric
primer 5: lead styphnate 1: INITIATORS 3: lead styphnate 4:
electrostatic sensitivity 5: experimental study 6: boron 6: voltage
sensitivity test 6: M52A3B1 primer 6: 20mm ammunition
Johns Hopkins University, Chemical Propulsion Information Agency:
- Material Safety Data Sheets:
Olin Brass and Winchester Ammunition, Inc.: