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Keith Butler

Contributor II
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Mr. Butler received his B.S. in Chemistry from Union University in 1983 and his M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from the University of Memphis in 1987. He is the Chief Chemist for the Milan Army Ammunition Plant in Milan, Tennessee. He has over 20 years experience performing acceptance testing on components used to Load, Assemble, and Pack ammunition items for the US Army. In addition to his laboratory duties, he is a spill response team member, hazardous waste operator and has served as the plant Chemical Hygiene Officer. Mr. Butler has published notes in the Journal of Chemical Education. He is an adjunct professor of chemistry at Jackson State Community College teaching introductory and freshman chemistry. Mr. Butler sits on the Army's Environmental Restoration Advisory Board for the Milan Army Ammunition Plant, twice serving as the community co-chair. He is also an active judge for the West Tennessee Regional Science Fair, an affiliate of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. He is active in the American Chemical Society and was the 2007 Chair for the Kentucky Lake section. He was recently appointed to serve on the ACS Joint Board Council Committee on Public Relations and Communications. He is the Industrial Advisor to the Union University SAACS.


Military Explosives

Many different explosive compounds exist but not all have practical applications. To be suitable for military use the explosive material must meet certain characteristics. These characteristics and the historical development from primitive weapons to modern non-nuclear military explosive weapons will be discussed. The study of military explosives is very broad, over 110 explosives are available to the ordnance engineer and the list is growing Information will be presented about the chemistry and physics of the detonation process and the characteristics that make an explosive suitable for military use. Examples of explosive compounds from a variety of chemical classes will be given. The military classifies explosives based on their power and sensitivity. Functional ordnance utilizes this variation in properties to form an "explosive train". This process uses multiple explosive charges of differing sensitivities and powers to meet the needs of specific applications. This and the shaped charge effect will be explained and examples of their implementation in modern ordnance will be given.

Testing Explosives: Considerations for an Intrinsically Safe Laboratory

Certain materials are intrinsically hazardous -they are hazardous in and of themselves regardless of how they are handled. Examples include explosive powders such as black powder, or explosive gases such as propane, butane, and acetylene. Industries working with these materials are highly regulated and accidents are rare. In fact most accidents in these industries are normal industrial accidents such as slips, trips, falls, back strain, cuts and abrasions, etc. Laboratories working with these materials may not be subject to the same level of regulation because of the small quantities used for laboratory scale procedures and the controlled conditions in use such as ventilation fume hoods. Protective measures are required only if the hazardous materials have potential to exist in explosive concentrations -- by routine or by accident. For example laboratories routinely use diethyl ether without incident and without extraordinary measures. However, when a laboratory routinely examines samples with explosive hazards, an elevated risk of accidental detonation will exist. An intrinsically safe laboratory is the best environment to manipulate such materials. Though it may be impossible for a laboratory to be safe "in and of itself", careful planning and preparation will produce a workplace that is compatible with these hazardous materials. Such planning includes giving consideration to building design, laboratory procedures, and personnel behavior as well as having contingencies in place should a catastrophic failure of these systems result in an explosion.


American Ordnance LLC

5 Lowery Lane

Trenton, TN, United States, 38382


Business: 731-686-6172

Cell: 731-414-6598

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