Development of a Thermally Activated Pyrotechnic Initiator Based on Fabrication of Low Temperature Co-fired Ceramic Components
Thesis (M.S., Mechanical Engineering) | Pyrotechnic initiators are commonly employed as primary charges for initiating combustion of less sensitive energetic compounds. Such devices must maintain reliable operation throughout their working lifetimes and require the utmost care during manufacturing. Implementation of low temperature co-fired ceramic in initiator design provides a reliable, versatile, and low cost material readily capable of mass production using existing equipment. Standard practice for industrial production of initiators requires the application of multiple safety measures when handling the highly volatile compounds required for initiator manufacturing. Incorporating a new design capable of negating the use of dangerous compounds during fabrication will lead to a cost effective and safe method for the construction of initiators. The proposed design could be fabricated in a nonreactive state and thermally activated at any time prior to initiation, leading to reduction of required safety measure. Evaluation of a prototype initiator meeting such specifications requires careful consideration in design and testing procedures. The necessary reliable operation of initiators is largely based in the ability for such a device to maintain a hermetic seal. Careful analysis through the use of red dye penetrant, helium mass spectrometry, and radioisotope leak detection (Radiflo®) will result in a comprehensive study of the proposed initiator package and mechanism of electrical initiation. A fully functional prototype is intended to be a proof-of-concept design that could be optimized for any specific application applicable to initiator operation.