Original Date: 02/28/2000
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Explosive Pumps for Autoclaves
Previously, molten explosive extracted from the Autoclave Bomb Meltout System was manually carried to the cooling tables to await cycling through the flaking machine, causing hazardous vapors and the possibility of severe burns to employees. Crane Army Ammunition Activity resolved these problems by designing and creating the Pneumatic Chamber Pump Explosive Transfer System.
Previously, molten explosive extracted from the Autoclave Bomb Meltout System (autoclave) had to be manually carried to the cooling tables to await cycling through the flaking machine. Explosive residue was always present under the autoclave during operation, and vapors were dispersed directly into the facility violating hazard regulations. Since it was a manual operation, the employees were also exposed to the possibility of severe burns from the 220× F sediment while transporting it to the cooling tables.
Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA) resolved the problem by designing and creating the Pneumatic Chamber Pump Explosive Transfer System. The molten explosive flows down from the autoclave, as before, into a continuous pneumatic pressurized collection system where it is siphoned through the exit port to the cooling table (Figure 2-3). The pump is equipped with duel exit ports should one become blocked, and the inlet port is equipped with a butterfly valve to prevent any feedback of molten explosive. The entire operation is now solidly piped to capture any vapor, which is evacuated from the facility.
This design required modification to the facility since the original molten explosive exit ports were intentionally only 10 inches from the floor to decrease the amount of splatter caused by the manual method. The other option would have been to raise the autoclave and the ceiling of the facility at a cost of $1.5 million versus the $32,000 cost of the design/development of the pneumatic pump. The installation of the pneumatic pumps saved money on the costs of renovating the facility, corrected hazardous deficiencies, and reduced the number of employees required to perform this task from four to one.
Figure 2-3. Explosive Pump for Autoclaves
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