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DBX-1 – A Lead Free Replacement for Lead Azide

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Abstract

Efforts directed towards creating new environmentally friendly replacements for existing primary explosives have resulted in development of copper(I) 5-nitrotetrazolate (DBX-1). The chemical and physical properties of this material have been extensively investigated and it appears that DBX-1 is a suitable drop-in replacement for lead azide in a variety of ordnance applications. DBX-1 is easily prepared, has excellent thermal stability and has safety and performance properties which are equivalent to or exceed those for lead azide. A program to qualify DBX-1 for military use per NAVSEAINST 8020.5C has recently been completed and data has been forwarded to NSWC-IH for submission to Naval Sea Systems Command.

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