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					JOCG Continuous Mixer and Extruder User’s Group Conference
                  29-31 October, 2002



Processing M206 Infrared Decoy Flare Composition
      Through a Twin Screw Mixer/Extruder


                      Timothy E. Dawag
        Warheads, Energetics and Combat-support Center
             Armament Systems Process Division


                  US Army TACOM-ARDEC
           Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey 07806-5000
           Tank-automotive & Armaments COMmand
Outline


             Program Objectives
             Background
             The Method
             Twin Screw Extruder Facility
             Continuing Efforts
             Acknowledgements




          Committed to Excellence
Program Objectives

                               Baseline a continuous manufacturing
                                process for M206 IR Decoy Flare
                               composition which is transferable to
                                    production-scale facilities




   Produce material to press
   and load into casings for
         flight testing


                      Committed to Excellence
Background –M206 Decoy Flare

Current manufacturing method is a Batch operation

                                            Personnel Concerns
                                            – Extensive operator exposure to
                                              hazardous materials and operations
                                            – Decanting bulk quantities of flare
                                              composition
                                            – Drying composition in large walk-in
                                              ovens with solvent vapors



Environmental Concerns
– Large amounts of organic solvents utilized (hexane and acetone)
– Large quantities of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released to the atmosphere


                              Committed to Excellence
Background –TSE Processing

Eliminate Incidents                       Environmental Benefits
– Several incidents have occurred over    – Eliminate hexane, which reduces total
  the past 5-years, many involving          quantity of solvents
  fatalities                              – Decrease amount of acetone
                                          – Incorporate solvent recovery system

                                          Enhance Safety
                                          – Reduce operator exposure to hazardous
                                            materials/operations
                                          – Minimize transportation of “static
                                            sensitive” intermediate products




                              Committed to Excellence
Background –The Method

            Raw Material Characterization
             Inert Simulant Identification
                  Rheological Study
               Mathematical Modeling
                   Inert Processing
             Modeling Validation/Update
                   Live Processing
                  Product Analysis

                Committed to Excellence
TSE Facility

                                     Twin Screw Extruder
                                     – 40-mm Baker Perkins
                                     – Clam shell design
                                     – Double end bearing with side discharge
                                     Loss-in-weight feeders
                                     – Solid/Liquid/Viscous
                                     Solvent recovery system
                                     In-line granulator
                                     Product conveyors
                                     Vibratory dryer




               Committed to Excellence
TSE Facility Upgrades




                    Kemutec – Cone Mill
                         – Replacement for Prater granulator
                         – Increased functionality
                         – Particle size consistency
                         – Improves safety standards
                    Autokinetics – Conveyor System
                         – 3 Conveyors with variable speed drive


                 Committed to Excellence
TSE Facility Upgrades

                                  Carrier - Vibratory Dryer
                                  – Single/Double pass
                                  – Non-contact steam
                                  – Product conveyors from bottom of
                                    unit to the top
                                  – Drying capability of product with up
                                    to solvent level of 20% by weight


                                  FlexKleen - Dust Collector
                                  – Bag house dust collector
                                  – Captures residual particles from dryer




                 Committed to Excellence
TSE Facility Upgrades




                 Committed to Excellence
TSE Processing

Inert Processing
   – Define process conditions
       •   Feed rates
       •   Screw speed
       •   Barrel/Die temperatures
       •   Solvent recovery/vacuum level
       •   Granulation
Mathematical Simulation Model
   – Verify model with inert processing
       • Solvent Level
       • Temperature/pressure readings
   – Modify screw configuration
   – Update processing conditions and verify changes



                               Committed to Excellence
TSE Processing
Transition to Live Processing
   – Conducted 3 live formulations runs to date
   – Transition successful
       • Little variation in process conditions
       • Safely
Product Analysis/Testing
   – Testing by Picatinny Arsenal Pyrotechnic Division
       • Pressed and finished flare grains
       • Tested for ignition time, burn time and IR intensity spectrum
   – Side by side comparison of batch and TSE manufactured material
       • Both met the performance requirements of military specification
       • Batch
            – More statistically variant
            – Intensity levels higher than TSE
       • Twin Screw Extruder
            –   Statistically consistent values of intensity and ignition times
            –   Longer burn time than batch
            –   Slower rise times than batch
            –   Inconsistencies attributed to particle size of composition prior to pressing
                                      Committed to Excellence
Continuing Efforts
Live Processing
   – Manufacture 75-pounds of M206 flare composition for pressing

Product testing
   – Test composition at Picatinny Arsenal to assure product quality
   – Verify particle size distribution of composition attributed to
     inconsistencies observed between batch and TSE processing

Product Finishing
   – Ship granulated material to Kilgore Flare Company for pressing
     and finishing
   – Kilgore Flare Company conducts onsite performance testing

Flight Performance Testing
   – Finished grains shipped to US Air Force at Point Magu for
     flight testing




                                  Committed to Excellence
Acknowledgements

Stevens Institute of Technology               TACOM-ARDEC, Picatinny Arsenal
Highly Filled Materials Institute                  – R&D and testing

    – Material characterization                    – Pilot scale processing

    – Rheology                                U.S. Army ManTech Manager
    – Mathematical modeling                        – Army Funding

Technical Consultants, Inc. (TCI)             U.S. Air Force at Point Magu
    – TSE processing expertise                     – Flight testing

Kilgore Flares Company                        U.S. Air Force at Wright Patterson AFB
    –Press and finish grains                       – Leveraged ManTech Funding




                                  Committed to Excellence

				
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