JOURNAL ARTICLE

Characterization of chemical agent transport in paints

Matthew P Willis, Wesley Gordon, Teri Lalain, Brent Mantooth
Journal of Hazardous Materials 2013 September 15, 260: 907-13
23872337
A combination of vacuum-based vapor emission measurements with a mass transport model was employed to determine the interaction of chemical warfare agents with various materials, including transport parameters of agents in paints. Accurate determination of mass transport parameters enables the simulation of the chemical agent distribution in a material for decontaminant performance modeling. The evaluation was performed with the chemical warfare agents bis(2-chloroethyl) sulfide (distilled mustard, known as the chemical warfare blister agent HD) and O-ethyl S-[2-(diisopropylamino)ethyl] methylphosphonothioate (VX), an organophosphate nerve agent, deposited on to two different types of polyurethane paint coatings. The results demonstrated alignment between the experimentally measured vapor emission flux and the predicted vapor flux. Mass transport modeling demonstrated rapid transport of VX into the coatings; VX penetrated through the aliphatic polyurethane-based coating (100 μm) within approximately 107 min. By comparison, while HD was more soluble in the coatings, the penetration depth in the coatings was approximately 2× lower than VX. Applications of mass transport parameters include the ability to predict agent uptake, and subsequent long-term vapor emission or contact transfer where the agent could present exposure risks. Additionally, these parameters and model enable the ability to perform decontamination modeling to predict how decontaminants remove agent from these materials.

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