Keith Butler Seminar
Thursday, May 3, 2012 7 PM
The Red River Valley Section of the American Chemical Society will present a Science Café for the public with Keith Butler, chief chemist, Milan Army Ammunition Plant in Milan, Tenn. He will discuss “Military Explosives” at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at the REAC 1 Center, 42nd St. and DeMers Ave. Everyone is welcome.
Many different explosive compounds exist, but not all have practical applications. To be suitable for military use, the explosive material must meet certain characteristics. These characteristics and the historical development from primitive weapons to modern non-nuclear military explosive weapons will be discussed.
The study of military explosives is very broad: more than 110 explosives are available to the ordnance engineer and the list is growing. Butler will present information about the chemistry and physics of the detonation process and the characteristics that make an explosive suitable for military use. He will also provide examples of explosive compounds from a variety of chemical classes, based on their power and sensitivity. Functional ordnance uses these properties to form an "explosive train," which uses multiple explosive charges of differing sensitivities and powers to meet the needs of specific applications. Butler will explain this and the shaped charge effect, and will give examples of their implementation in modern ordnance.
Butler has more than 25 years of experience performing acceptance testing on components used to load, assemble, and pack ammunition items for the U.S. Army. He received his bachelor's in chemistry from Union University and his master's in inorganic chemistry from the University of Memphis. In addition to his laboratory duties, he is a spill response team member, hazardous waste operator, chemical hygiene officer, SIO 9001 Quality System Management representative and quality auditor.
He has been published in the Journal of Chemical Education and the Journal of Chemical Health and Safety. He is an adjunct professor of chemistry at Jackson State Community College and Union University. Butler sits on the Army's Environmental Restoration Advisory Board for the Milan Army Ammunition Plant, twice serving as the community co-chair. He is also an active judge for the West Tennessee Regional Science Fair, which is an affiliate of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
He is active in the American Chemical Society and was the 2007 Chair for the Kentucky Lake section and is the current Public Relations Chair and web administrator. He sits on the ACS Joint Board Council Committee on Public Relations and Communications and chairs the CPRC Awards sub-committee. He is the CPRC Liaison to the ACS Joint Board Council Committee on Committee on Communications and Public Affairs (CCPA). He is the industrial advisor to the Union University Student Members of ACS and an ACS tour speaker.
Red River Valley Section of the American Chemical Society
The Red River Valley section of ACS has more than 200 members and spans North Dakota and central Minnesota, with members from UND, NDSO, Mayville State, BSU, Concordia, and others. The organization has earned two national awards (2009 and 2010) for leadership development programs and have received $9,000 in educational grants in the past two years.
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