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Question for the PP brain trust: Explosive removal

Hello all. Hopefully you guys that can think way out the box can assist. So I bid on, and won this contract with the government...not really “explosive removal” in the EOD sense...but involves inspecting and clearing cotton bags of M6 powder.

Background: an explosive de-mil company abandoned 1.3m “Redbags” - these cotton bags filled with powder used to propel artillery shells out of the barrel down range. The bags contained Clean Burning Igniter, black powder, and M6 pellets. The de-mil company was harvesting the M6 and reconfiguring it to sell to the mining industry. Things went badly for them so they just abandoned everything.

My challenge involves conducting a 200% inspection of each bag, by hand, before they can be sent to the landfill. I’m trying to determine the most efficient way get inside the bags to inspect them. The bags are 18” long, about 6” diameter, and cut open on one end. The cotton is rather stiff as the insides are lined with a lead foil. We are only looking for M6 pellets will be hiding in the seams at the end of the bags. They are about the size of a cigarette butt.

We have considered cutting lengthwise and opening, cutting the closed end off, or using a mounted pole to push them on to turn them inside out. The issue of efficiency concerns safety and fatigue on the part of my workers...I need the safest and best production throughput for the least amount of physical effort. All other PPE will be work for the lead hazard, so I got that solved.

Any thoughts?

Attaching pics of the mess.



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Old 01-04-2018, 05:52 PM
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My first guess:
Automate the system as much as possible.
Worker forklifts it up on table next to gizmo (with osha autoshutoff features of course. maybe based on amp draw.).
Another worker takes bag head and places it on gizmo cone.
Gizmo grabs sides and pushes bag inside out over a pit.
Another worker takes bag, checks, and drops it into laundry basket whatever to go on the truck.

Workers screened and everything recorded so their next July4 doesn't get out of hand.
Old 01-04-2018, 06:19 PM
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Mount you a frog gig pole with the gig pointed upwards, place the open end of the bag over the gig, pull down until it is gigged, pull up to turn the bag inside out, inspect, ungig, repeat.
Old 01-04-2018, 06:21 PM
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What happens if a pellet is smashed? I think using a shear to cut lengthwise would facilitate an easy inspection?

I don't know what would happen if the shear hit a pellet. Might be bad.

Good luck.
Larry
Old 01-04-2018, 06:21 PM
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:26 PM
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Excellent, I think you’re on to something there. Maybe place them over a pvc pipe or cone and have a pneumatic plunger push the bag through the pipe out the bottom turning it inside out?
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:30 PM
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The pellet is rather inert until you add fire...but they have to be under compression to explode. They are only a flammable solid otherwise.

Correct, smoking is not authorized.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:32 PM
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Guys, he said 1.3 Million of those bags.

He needs as automated a solution as possible.

How explosive is an M6 pellet, as in, firecracker, M80, stick of dynamite? And do you need recover it?

If you don't need to recover it and a few pellets don't pack a bunch of punch I would get a big ass steam roller, lay the bags out, run them over crushing the pellets, then wash the bags while inside out.

That's all I got.

Good luck.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:32 PM
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Only problem with moving/mechanical things is that people tend to stick body parts in it.

Could they be crushed and incinerated?
You could sell them as fuel. lol.
Old 01-04-2018, 06:38 PM
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:44 PM
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Total long shot (assuming you have the means to pull this off):

How thick is the lead foil on the interior?

If less that 0.5mm thick total, you may be able to place bags on a conveyor one at at time and have them X-rayed with commercial inspection equipment. Only open/empty those with detected pellets.

Alternate idea:

Set up a table with a catch bin and concentric to that bin place a chunk of pipe with an air nozzle pointing straight up. Worker grabs open end of bag, pulls it over air nozzle, hits foot pedal to turn on air. Air inflates bag, dislodges pellets, pellets fall into bin.
Old 01-04-2018, 06:46 PM
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Can you run them through a metal detector or x-ray and measure the output?
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:49 PM
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Use open burning of the bags in burn trays. Materials are destroyed by self‐ sustained combustion after being ignited. They would not be confined and therefore would not detonate. Recycle the lead. Put ashes in landfill.

Maybe subcontract out ESI who did this at Camp Minden.
https://www.epa.gov/la/camp-minden
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Last edited by fintstone; 01-04-2018 at 07:10 PM..
Old 01-04-2018, 06:59 PM
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How thick is the lead? I would check into x-ray inspection if the lead is thin enough to make it absorb less than the C6 pellets, you will be able to see the pellets. You may be able to rent equipment used in industry applications such as chemical engineering or even TSA type machine with a conveyor belt. In Louisiana you should have plenty of options with the chemical industry as xray is used for a lot of inspection of pipes, reactors etc.

1.3 million - man - that's going to take a year if you don't work it in parallel and one bag is 5 seconds.

G
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:01 PM
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Will you need to remove/recover the lead or does that go in the landfill as well?

I'd suggest low pressure/high volume air source available in front/above the worker. Worker opens bag and air source inflates the bag. Worker than plunges the bag over a cylindrical pipe/column essentially turning it inside out. Any pellets remaining drop out and below which can be collected in a basin which surrounds the pipe. This also leaves the lead foil (liner?) exposed/external if needed.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:04 PM
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Haha, fanaudical beat me to it. A bright lamp may also work?

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Old 01-04-2018, 07:05 PM
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"200% inspection of each bag, by hand"

If this is in the contract you're rather limited. One of your initial ideas, punching the bag inside out via (semi)automation, is where I would start. A simple 200% hand swipe after that would satisfy the language above while being effective.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:08 PM
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Lead foil is very thin, like a tape. The 200%inspection has to be visual, according to DOD, so X-ray probably would,be a no go, and probably complicated to sell the concept to the site manager.

Flint -can’t burn anything. There is a local community action group that is crazy about this stuff, somewhat rightfully so. Incineration was proposed and denied by the owner.

I like MBAs proposal, just need to find a mechanical company that could design the system.

My proposed production rate is 4 bags per person per minute. 25 pax puts that at about 48k bags a day through the system max, not being 100% efficient, I’m figuring 30k a day with my current crew, about 2 months of work....sucky work.
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:13 PM
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Buy a bunch of shipping containers. Drill big holes in shipping containers. Stuff them full of this crap. Put shipping containers on 3rd rate container ship from 3rd world country. Pay crew to ensure that said containers are 'lost' in a storm in the mid atlantic. Profit.

(Just so no one gets their panties in a knot, I'm kidding.....)
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HardDrive View Post
Buy a bunch of shipping containers. Drill big holes in shipping containers. Stuff them full of this crap. Put shipping containers on 3rd rate container ship from 3rd world country. Pay crew to ensure that said containers are 'lost' in a storm in the mid atlantic. Profit.

(Just so no one gets their panties in a knot, I'm kidding.....)
Don't forget about insuring the merchandise and contract against such losses ahead of time.

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2013 Honda 250 CRF
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Alcon Brake Kits
Old 01-04-2018, 09:02 PM
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