Detonation synthesis of silicon carbide (SiC) nanoparticles from carbon liberated by negatively oxygen balanced explosives was evaluated in a 23 factorial design to determine the effects of three categorical experimental factors: (1) cyclotrimethylene-trinitramine (RDX)/2,4,6-trinitrotoluene (TNT) ratio, (2) silicon (Si) additive concentration, and (3) Si particle size. These factors were evaluated at low and high levels as they relate to the detonation performance of the explosive and the solid Si-containing phases produced. Detonation velocity and Chapman-Jouguet (C-J) detonation pressure, which were measured using rate stick plate dent tests, were evaluated. Solid detonation product mass, silicon carbide product concentration, and residual silicon concentration were evaluated using the x-ray diffraction analysis. The factors of Si concentration and the RDX:TNT ratio were shown to affect detonation performance in terms of detonation velocity and C-J pressure by up to 10% and 22%, respectively. Increased concentration of Si in the reactants improved the average SiC concentration in the detonation products from 1.9 to 2.8 wt. %. Similarly, increasing the ratio of RDX to TNT further oxidized detonation products and reduced the average residual Si remaining after detonation from 8.6 to 2.8 wt. %. A 70:30 mass ratio mixture of RDX to TNT loaded with 10 wt. % < 44 μm silicon powder produced an estimated 1.33 g of nanocrystalline cubic silicon carbide from a 150-g test charge. Using a lower concentration of added silicon with a finer particle size reduced SiC yield in the residue to 0.38 g yet improved the SiC to residual Si ratio to 1.64:1.



Second Department

Materials Science and Engineering

Third Department

Mining Engineering

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

1089-7550; 0021-8979

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Final Version

File Type





© 2023 American Institute of Physics, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

07 May 2022