- Lead(II) azide
ImageFile = Lead(II) azide.png
Section1 = Chembox Identifiers
CASNo = 13424-46-9
UNNumber = 0129
PubChem = 61600
Section2 = Chembox Properties
Formula = Pb(N3)2
Density = 4.71 g/cm3, solid
Section3 = Chembox Explosive
ShockSens = High
FrictionSens = High
ExplosiveV = 5180 m/s
Section4 = Chembox Hazards
Lead azide (Pb(N3)2) is an
explosiveand toxiccrystalline compound. It is used as a detonator for other, secondary, explosives. The white crystals have a density of 4.71 g/cm³. In a commercially usable form it is a white-to-buff powder.
Lead azide is not very
hygroscopic, and water does not reduce its impact sensitivity. When protected from humidity, is completely stable in storage.Fact|date=May 2008
Lead azide is prepared by metathesis between
sodium azideand lead nitrate or lead dissolved in nitric acid. Dextrosecan be added to the solution to stabilize the product.
Lead azide was one of the ingredients of the six .22 caliber Devastator rounds fired by
John Hinckley, Jr.in his assassination attempt on President Ronald Reaganon March 30, 1981. The rounds consisted of lead azide centers with lacquer-sealed aluminum tips designed to explode upon impact. None of the six bullets hit the president directly. The one that did strike the President in the chest after ricocheting off of the bullet proof glass of the presidential limousine did not explode as designed. Nor did the other five, though three others were wounded, including press secretary James Bradywho was partially paralyzed. [The Exploding Bullets, by Pete Barley and Charles Babcock, "Washington Post", 4 Apr, 1981. Retrieved 28 February, 2007.]
Lead azide is highly sensitive and usually handled and stored under water in insulated rubber containers. It will explode after a fall of around 150 mm (6 in) or in the presence of a static discharge of 7 millijoules. Its detonation velocity is around 5.18 km/s (17,500 ft/s).
Ammonium acetateand sodium dichromateare used to destroy small quantities of lead azide.
azidereacts with copper, zinc, cadmium, or alloys containing these metals to form other azides. For example, copper azideis even more explosive and too sensitive to be used commercially. Sodium azideis used both for the manufacture of lead azide and as preservative and diluent, which can lead to problems.Fact|date=May 2008
* [http://www.npi.gov.au/database/substance-info/profiles/50.html National Pollutant Inventory - Lead and Lead Compounds Fact Sheet]
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