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Quantifying Trace 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) in Polymer Microspheres



Timothy M. Brewer, Robert A. Fletcher, Matthew E. Staymates


Well characterized test materials are essential for validating the performance of current trace explosive detection systems. Explosive encapsulated microspheres have proven to be a valuable test material for trace explosive detection because their precise size, shape and composition. Presented here is the quantification of explosives in the polymer microspheres by high performance liquid chromatography with UV/Visible detection (HPLC-UV/Vis). A size exclusion separation was employed to quantify the amount of explosive encapsulated in cured microspheres. Complete quantification was achieved by simultaneously separating and quantifying the explosive and polymer components. Results indicate that there is a 30 % to upwards of 50 % loss of TNT explosive from the polymer microspheres.
Propellants Explosives Pyrotechnics


Brewer, T. , Fletcher, R. and Staymates, M. (2015), Quantifying Trace 2,4,6-Trinitrotoluene (TNT) in Polymer Microspheres, Propellants Explosives Pyrotechnics, [online], (Accessed July 24, 2024)


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Created October 16, 2015, Updated June 23, 2020