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Title: Chlorine Trifluoride
Description: The Power!


Kyiv - August 13, 2010 07:17 AM (GMT)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chlorine_trifluoride
http://www.airproducts.com/nr/rdonlyres/84...afetygram39.pdf

Poisonous, toxic, corrosive and it burns. It burns everything.

Spontaneous ignition occurs on contact with such diverse materials as water, sand, bricks, people, metal, concrete and asbestos. There is no effective means of fire suppression. And the burning releases friendly chemicals like: chlorine
trifluoride, hydrogen fluoride, chlorine and hydrogen chloride.

Seriously considered for military purposes by Germany before WWII. they even manufactured tens of tons of it. Can be stored in a properly prepared and cleaned metal container.


Mondoth - August 13, 2010 07:47 AM (GMT)
This comes up periodically.
The trouble is that ClF3 is difficult and dangerous to manufacture in useful quantities, difficult and dangerous to store, and extremely dangerous to actually try to use for anything (seriously, how do you expect to get it out of that properly prepared and cleaned metal container?)

RRoan - August 13, 2010 08:34 AM (GMT)
Drop said carefully prepared container on the enemy, and burst it with light explosives.

Kyiv - August 13, 2010 09:01 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Mondoth @ Aug 13 2010, 02:47 AM)
This comes up periodically.
The trouble is that ClF3 is difficult and dangerous to manufacture in useful quantities, difficult and dangerous to store, and extremely dangerous to actually try to use for anything (seriously, how do you expect to get it out of that properly prepared and cleaned metal container?)

^^^You fire the container. A la Livens projector. I wouldn't burst it though, it's also been studied as an FAE component. It is however so hypergolic that just mixing it with fuel will produce ignition. It doesn't even necessarily need to be packaged with fuel, just spraying it around will produce plenty of fire.

The U.S. has designed and demonstrated a system for delivering incapacitating agents that is based on a bursting metal tank that is carried inside a normal mortar or artillery shell like a submunition. For this application the tanks would be manufactured and sealed at the factory then delivered to the front where they would be mated with a cargo carrier shell or rocket or whatever for delivery.

Large scale manufacturing is 100% possible. The Germans built a factory in WWII that was designed to produce 50-90 tons a month, but it only got into operation in late 1944 and was overrun by the Red Army a few months later.

http://www.bunkertours.co.uk/germany_2004.htm

It is incredibly dangerous yes and I imagine realistic production levels would be accident prone. But the power. Put it in a flamethrower and it incinerates pillboxes!

Spizania - August 13, 2010 12:18 PM (GMT)
Your troops would mutiny instead of use it after a few months once a few hundred soldiers have been maimed horrifically or outright killed rather painfully in accidental releases during handling.
You drop a drum and crack the seal and itl catch fire and burn like mad.

Its ludicrously dangerous and frankly not worth the trouble of deploying it.

And I can guarantee that you cant use glass or most plastics because of ignition issues, your only reasonable cheap option would be steel/aluminium due to the fluoride passivation layer, but if you drop it and it cracks, good night.

Aluminium fire anyone?
Or better yet, high performance thermic lance

no endorse - August 13, 2010 04:53 PM (GMT)
My chemistry is a bit rusty, but a lot of these sorts of hilariously dangerous compounds like forming excessively dangerous macromolecular structures whenleft in a pure state in "large" ammounts for some time.

Least it's not FOOF

http://pipeline.corante.com/archives/thing...wont_work_with/
Might give you pause wil ClF3

Mondoth - August 13, 2010 06:42 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kyiv @ Aug 13 2010, 03:01 AM)
QUOTE (Mondoth @ Aug 13 2010, 02:47 AM)
This comes up periodically.
The trouble is that ClF3 is difficult and dangerous to manufacture in useful quantities, difficult and dangerous to store, and extremely dangerous to actually try to use for anything (seriously, how do you expect to get it out of that properly prepared and cleaned metal container?)

^^^You fire the container. A la Livens projector. I wouldn't burst it though, it's also been studied as an FAE component. It is however so hypergolic that just mixing it with fuel will produce ignition. It doesn't even necessarily need to be packaged with fuel, just spraying it around will produce plenty of fire.


Firing the container in this manner would be prone to causing dangerous leaks and ruptures, not much of a problem with an incapacitating agent, or even a normal incendiary/chemical weapons, but with something as violent and lethal as ClF3, a real problem as even a minor defect caused by the forces of firing the container could lead to a catastrophic, flaming, poison-gas spewing rupture right over friendly forces.


QUOTE

Large scale manufacturing is 100% possible. The Germans built a factory in WWII that was designed to produce 50-90 tons a month, but it only got into operation in late 1944 and was overrun by the Red Army a few months later.

http://www.bunkertours.co.uk/germany_2004.htm


The factory never came close to meeting its designed production levels, and what ClF3 it did produce was ludicrously expensive for military use.

QUOTE

It is incredibly dangerous yes and I imagine realistic production levels would be accident prone. But the power. Put it in a flamethrower and it incinerates pillboxes!


If you put it in a flamethrower, it will ignite when you try to pressurize it for use, and if it doesn't, it will ignite the flexible hose, and if you somehow manage to avoid that, then the pressurized flow through the nozzle can strip the passivization layer, causing the nozzle to ignite.

A normal flamethrower is dangerous enough. Even properly functioning flamethrowers used in accordance to proper safety standards can cause burns on the operator and nearby friendlies, just from the intensity of the flames being produced.
If you manage to produce a ClF3 flamethrower that somehow doesn't self ignite, it will produce even more intense flames, not too mention a stew of deadly poisons when it hydrolyzes with atmospheric moisture, including HCl and HF.
Your soldiers won't just have to worry about being burned, they'll have to worry about poison gas exposure and skin contact with Hydrofluoric acid. Even full NBC gear won't protect you, since ClF3 can either ignite on contact with the suit, or just ignite on contact with dust or dirt on the suit.

Spizania - August 13, 2010 07:36 PM (GMT)
There is a reason science remembers the fluorine martyrs

Kyiv - August 13, 2010 08:09 PM (GMT)
I'm not sure a flamethrower is a good idea.

Issuance I think would need to be limited to flamethrower units as CIF3 seems a bit to risky for regular grunts to handle. And if worse comes to worse there aren't enough of them that they can't be put back into line....

If my men are that terrified of their own weapon imagine what it will do to the target. They'd shit bricks. When the tanks and bunkers and ground and soldiers start spontaneously combusting at thousands of degrees and spewing poisonous gas and acid and poisonous acid they're probably gonna haul ass right off the battlefield. I doubt you could find a more potent shock effect short of nuking them.

It's not something that you use often but applied in the right place at the right time it could turn the tide.

Mondoth - August 13, 2010 09:47 PM (GMT)
If your men are that terrified of the weapon (which isn't nearly as terrified as they should be) they just won't use it.

This weapon is at least as likely to kill, maim and panic your own troops at the enemies.
Really more likely, as this weapon is just as dangerous from the first stages of production, through transport and storage all the way to the soldiers that will use them. Then, once it's actually in the soldiers hands, accidents, spills, defects, friendly fire incidents and poor weather (if you use this in an environment with a significant amount of particles or moisture suspended in the air, I.E. a battlefield, then it will just explode all over your troops) are certain to kill your troops. Whereas, your soldiers actually have to overcome their fear of the weapon, select a real target (I.E. not a decoy, civilians or a friendly unit), launch the weapon without incident, and then hit their target with it.

Basically, everything has to go absolutely right for this thing to have any effect on the enemy, but at every step, anything that goes wrong will kill your soldiers/civilians.

This is basically like ww1 era chemical weapons, or V2 rockets from ww2. It might have a terrifying effect on the enemy when it works, but that effect will be dwarfed by the expense and danger to your own population and troops, and ultimately, it's just not cost effective.

Kyiv - August 14, 2010 01:19 PM (GMT)
WW1 Chemical weapons are an excellent example I think. As problematic as it was for it's users it proved extremely popular because it worked. The excellent article here:

http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/resources/csi/heller/heller.asp

For example reports that there was great jubilee among AEF artillerymen when they finally received their own mustard gas. Particularly notable since not only were they the ones handling it regularly but were often the ones on the receiving end of it because Mustard gas was the preferred counter-battery weapon.

CIF3 is incredibly dangerous but it can be handled safely. It is after all used in the production of Uranium Hexafluoride. This came from a DOE PDF I found about modelling a CIF3 Spill:

QUOTE
Chlorine trifluoride (CIF,) is a chemical compound used in the gaseous diffusion process to enrich uranium at two plants, one in Portsmouth, Ohio (PORTS) and the other in Paducah, Kentucky (PGDP). This compound is employed in gaseous diffusion to fluorinate uranium yellow cake. CIF3, is shipped to the two gaseous diffusion plants as compressed liquid in cylinders. These cylinders are stored on-site until they are emptied into large storage tanks that hold about 57 m3 of compressed ClF3 liquid


So it's not as though no one has ever dealt with it safely on a large scale.

Allanea - August 14, 2010 01:27 PM (GMT)
Chemical weapons are massively overrated. I must translate the Veremeev article about why.

no endorse - August 14, 2010 03:48 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kyiv @ Aug 14 2010, 09:19 AM)
CIF3 is incredibly dangerous but it can be handled safely. It is after all used in the production of Uranium Hexafluoride. This came from a DOE PDF I found about modelling a CIF3 Spill:

QUOTE
Chlorine trifluoride (CIF,) is a chemical compound used in the gaseous diffusion process to enrich uranium at two plants, one in Portsmouth, Ohio (PORTS) and the other in Paducah, Kentucky (PGDP). This compound is employed in gaseous diffusion to fluorinate uranium yellow cake. CIF3, is shipped to the two gaseous diffusion plants as compressed liquid in cylinders. These cylinders are stored on-site until they are emptied into large storage tanks that hold about 57 m3 of compressed ClF3 liquid


So it's not as though no one has ever dealt with it safely on a large scale.

Here's the issue: you're talking about safe handling and containment of ClF3 in a very controlled, contained environment.

They handled Pentaborane, Dioxygen Difluoride, Tetrafluorohydrazine, etc with very good safety records in controlled environments. Heck, Hydrazine is still used in rockets due to its usefulness. However, I can't stress how.... dangerous... it would be to put this in anything that's not completely and totally controlled. Firing out of a gun? Dropping the cylinder on the ground in the rush to get the thing in the gun/tank/artillery piece? Should the cylinder ever leak?

And, lest we forget, the only reason the ClF3 doesn't burn aluminum/steel containers is that a passive layer of inert metal-fluorides forms. Soon as that layer gets shaken apart, you could find a metal-fluoride fire.

Mondoth - August 15, 2010 02:10 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Kyiv @ Aug 14 2010, 07:19 AM)
WW1 Chemical weapons are an excellent example I think. As problematic as it was for it's users it proved extremely popular because it worked. The excellent article here:

http://www.cgsc.edu/carl/resources/csi/heller/heller.asp

For example reports that there was great jubilee among AEF artillerymen when they finally received their own mustard gas. Particularly notable since not only were they the ones handling it regularly but were often the ones on the receiving end of it because Mustard gas was the preferred counter-battery weapon.

CIF3 is incredibly dangerous but it can be handled safely. It is after all used in the production of Uranium Hexafluoride. This came from a DOE PDF I found about modelling a CIF3 Spill:

QUOTE
Chlorine trifluoride (CIF,) is a chemical compound used in the gaseous diffusion process to enrich uranium at two plants, one in Portsmouth, Ohio (PORTS) and the other in Paducah, Kentucky (PGDP). This compound is employed in gaseous diffusion to fluorinate uranium yellow cake. CIF3, is shipped to the two gaseous diffusion plants as compressed liquid in cylinders. These cylinders are stored on-site until they are emptied into large storage tanks that hold about 57 m3 of compressed ClF3 liquid


So it's not as though no one has ever dealt with it safely on a large scale.


Chemical weapons in WW1 worked poorly, very few units actually liked dealing with them, those that did were not well liked by friendly forces, and the actual combat effects were minimal compared to the dangers and cost. If Chemical weapons had been as effective as the article's author seems to believe, their use would have been more widespread in later wars than history shows.

It's useful to note that as dangerous as mustard gas was (all it takes is a slight breeze to blow it back into your face, or off into a nearby city), ClF3 is orders of magnitude more dangerous. It would be bad enough of ClF3 was simply highly incendiary in addition to producing highly toxic steam as a result of basically any reaction (the HF steam produced by hydrolyzing ClF3 is probably more dangerous than most ww1 chemical weapons on its own), but the extreme volatility just makes things worse, even the most dangerous ww1 chemical weapons were rather stable (and still had the nasty tendency to go off in the user's face). But even if you do everything right with the storage of ClF3, just a bit of rough handling or a poor road will ignite a poisonous-fume spewing flouride-metal fire which is virtually impossible to extinguish as ClF3 is a better oxidizer than oxygen and is so hypergolic that it will likely just ignite any dry-powder you try to use.

With mustard Gas, you just have to worry about the wind, and even that was too complicated for most soldiers. With ClF3, you have to worry about wind, temperature, humidity, airborne particulates (there will always been airborne particulates in any war zone, whether it is sand, dust smoke, snow or some combination thereof, and any of these will cause a catastrophic ClF3 accident) and the safety, suitability and cleanliness of every piece of equipment that will even be near the stuff.

There is no way to safely use ClF3 outside of laboratory conditions.

The amounts used in Uranium Hexaflouride are minimal compared to militarily useful quantities and are rather dangerous enough even then, under the controlled, safe and clean environment of a uranium enrichment facility.


Did you actually read and understand the Airproducts report you linked?
Let me highlight some of the major red-flags for you:

It starts very early
QUOTE
Liquid ClF3 is considered
more reactive than vapor-phase F2


QUOTE
Also, liquid ClF3
may demonstrate even higher reactivity in certain
circumstances than liquid F2


If you are unaware, diatomic flourine is the most oxidizing element, and ClF3 is even more oxidizing than that.
Flourine is almost never used even in situations where it's high reactivity would be desireable because it is too unstable to handle safely, and ClF3 is even less stable than that...

QUOTE
the material was eventually
considered to be too reactive for practical use
and mostly abandoned


It was rejecetd for use as a weapon by anyone sane

QUOTE
ClF3 was also recognized as an
extremely hazardous propellant due to its reactivity,
toxicity, and toxic by-products of
fluorination.


Even insane rocket scientists rejected it for use, and rocket scientists will often use things even the military won't touch for safety reasons, if it's too hazardous for use as a rocket propellant, it is DEFINITELY too hazardous to use as a weapon.

QUOTE
907 kg (2,000 lb) of cold
ClF3 liquid onto the building floor. The ClF3 dissolved
the 30 cm (12 inch) thick concrete floor and
another 90 cm (36 inches) of gravel underneath
the spill. The fumes that were generated (chlorine
trifluoride, hydrogen fluoride, chlorine, hydrogen
chloride, etc.) severely corroded everything that
was exposed.


Even when subcooled with dry-ice, ClF3 was able to burn more vigorously than thermite.

QUOTE
Chlorine trifluoride is toxic by itself and also reacts
with moisture to form a variety of other toxic and
corrosive materials, including hydrofluoric acid.
When the product escapes into the environment,
it hydrolyzes with the moisture in the air or, in
the case of human contact, with the moisture in
the human body. Direct contact with ClF3 vapor
or liquid can result in a thermal burn in addition
to the chemical burns produced by the hydrolysis
products.


Every ClF3 reaction produces a stew of chemicals so toxic that even ww1 generals wouldn't use them as chemical weapona. Direct contact with skin causes thermal burns, chemical burns, and produces highly toxic steam all at the same time.

QUOTE
Furthermore,
because of chlorine trifluoride’s extreme reactivity,
there is a high potential for contamination to
serve as an ignition source. Friction between two
materials can generate fine particles (contaminants),
which may ignite from the heat generated.
Contaminants in chlorine trifluoride systems potentially
can burn with sufficient heat to propagate the
ignition to system components.



QUOTE
Throughout the tests, materials that did not
react with ClF3 were immediately compromised by
the presence of contamination


Any contaminants or particulates on any equipment that will come into contact with ClF3 is enough to cause it to burst into flames and ignite the equipment, regardless of whether the equipment itself would be safe in contact with ClF3

QUOTE
Pressure relief devices are not permitted on chlorine
trifluoride cylinders.


If the container is over-pressurized, it will explode instead of shooting highly toxic, highly volatile, highly incendiary chemical into the air, BECAUSE THAT IS SAFER.

And that is just on the first three pages. The other five describe the elaborate safety precautions, with frequent references to other manuals that must be read to properly handle ClF3. None of which any grunt will ever willingly read, and even if you force one to, it will immediately ignore/forget/intentionally disregard and kill everyone in a five block radius.

Doomingsland - August 15, 2010 02:18 AM (GMT)
Somehow I think this is perfect for my guys...

Hurtful Thoughts - August 15, 2010 03:34 AM (GMT)
Heh, some guy tried saying he could get a dozen tanker-trucks of this stuff into a city w/o the mayor's permission.

My response:

"OH HELL NO!"

He did it anyways...




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