Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory are developing a high performance filament wound composite firing vessel intended for containment of one time detonation of explosive assemblies that contain toxic metals and gaseous by-products. A 2-meter diameter pressure vessel is being designed for containment of up to 80 lb tnt equivalent explosive without leakage. Due to the complexity of assuring good o-ring sealing ability for explosive generated dynamic pressures in excess of 40,000 psig (280 MPa), multiple seals in-series are used at the vessel openings. To assess and monitor the integrity of these seals during actual detonations within the vessel; miniature pressure and gas sample measurements were made upon the interstitial volume between the o-ring seals. Recent results of this prototype monitoring system indicated that at least two of the seven o-ring seals were required to adequately prevent transient leakage of toxic particulates from test series CVD-2a as evidenced by mass spectrograph quantities of 10% argon vessel pre-charge as a fiducial indicator gas and later confirmed by particulate swipes for metals.

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