|Molar mass||291.24 g/mol|
|Density||4.71 g/cm3, solid|
350 °C (explodes)
|Solubility in water||2.3 g/100 mL (18 °C)
9.0 g/100 mL (70 °C)
|Solubility||very soluble in acetic acid;
insoluble in ammonia
|Explosive velocity||5180 m/s|
|Main hazards||Harmful, Explosive|
|Other cations||Potassium azide|
|Related compounds||Hydrazoic acid|
| (what is: / ?)
Except where noted otherwise, data are given for materials in their standard state (at 25 °C, 100 kPa)
Lead azide (Pb(N3)2) is an inorganic compound. More so than other azides, Pb(N
2 is explosive. It is used in detonators to initiate secondary explosives. In a commercially usable form, it is a white to buff powder.
Preparation and handling
Lead azide is prepared by metathesis between sodium azide and lead nitrate. Dextrin can be added to the solution to stabilize the precipitated product. The solid is not very hygroscopic, and water does not reduce its impact sensitivity. It is normally shipped in a dextrinated solution that lowers its sensitivity. When protected from humidity, it is completely stable in storage. An alternative method involves dissolving lead acetate in a sodium azide solution.
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).
Lead azide was a component of the six .22 caliber Devastator rounds fired by John Hinckley, Jr. in his assassination attempt on U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 30, 1981. The rounds consisted of lead azide centers with lacquer-sealed aluminum tips designed to explode upon impact.
- Pradyot Patnaik. Handbook of Inorganic Chemicals. McGraw-Hill, 2002, ISBN 0-07-049439-8
- Fedoroff, Basil T.; Henry A. Aaronson, Earl F. Reese, Oliver E. Sheffield, George D. Clift (1960). Encyclopedia of Explosives and Related Items (Vol. 1). US Army Research and Development Command TACOM, ARDEC.
- Verneker, V. R. Pai; Forsyth, Arthur C. (1968). "Mechanism for controlling the reactivity of lead azide". The Journal of Physical Chemistry 72: 111. doi:10.1021/j100847a021.
- The Exploding Bullets, by Pete Barley and Charles Babcock, Washington Post, 4 Apr, 1981. Retrieved 28 February, 2007.
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