Way to Hamper Gunpowder Aging
Way to Hamper Gunpowder Aging
  • Reporter Song Sung-chan
  • 승인 2018.10.10 19:18
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Prof. Park Tai-ho (CE)
Prof. Park Tai-ho (CE)


In 2016, a tragic catastrophe took place at a military base in Ulsan, South Korea; when five kilograms of gunpowder scheduled for disposal, interacted with an unknown ignition source and exploded, harming twenty soldiers. Also, a lot of national defense expenditure is used for the disposing and managing of deteriorated weapons and gunpowder.

Park Tai-ho, a professor of Department of Chemical Engineering, and his team have found a way stop the gunpowder from exploding. The team’s research was conducted under a humid surrounding to prevent the gunpowder from exploding. The team identified the relationship between moisture and the aging process. When it artificially added water to the gunpowder: its caloric value shrunk, and so did its explosive power. Using an electronic microscope, TEM-EDS, the team found the cause: Boron in the gunpowder is thickened because of moisture.

The team concluded that there are three steps to preventing the gunpowder aging process. First, control the moisture level during the industrial process. Second, tightly seal the Pyrotechnically Actuated Device during storage to prevent moisture contact. Lastly, chemically process the Boron in the gunpowder to prevent it from aging.

Professor Park is confident that his research will substantially reduce national military expenditure.

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