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SMALL-SCALE CHARACTERIZATION OF SHOCK SENSITIVITY FOR VARIOUS NON-IDEAL EXPLOSIVES BASED ON DETONATION FAILURE BEHAVIOR

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posted on 15.08.2019 by Dakota G Scott, Steven F. Son
The plethora of potential homemade explosive (HME) formulations combined with the fact they often exhibit large critical diameters make them expensive to characterize with traditional large-scale tests.  A relatively new method for small-scale characterization was investigated using non-ideal explosive charges consisting of ammonium nitrate (AN) and various fuels.  This optical characterization technique utilizes the rate of reaction wave velocity decay in the failing detonations of sub-critical diameter charges as a metric for the shock sensitivity of an explosive. The conditions for detonation initiation and failure have long been used to investigate shock sensitivity (critical diameter, gap tests, run-to-detonation experiments); however, the failure regime still remains largely unexplored.  The utility of this small-scale characterization technique lies in its ability to determine the relative shock sensitivity of explosive with minimal material and tests while simultaneously providing transient velocity data for potential use in modeling efforts.  In this work, high speed imaging was used and analyzed to determine rates of reaction wave velocity decay in the AN-fuel samples.  Among the fuels tested with AN were diesel (ANFO), nitromethane (ANNM), and aluminum (ANAl).  It was found that nitromethane was the most effective at sensitizing the AN of the systems considered.  In both ANNM and ANAl, maximum shock sensitivity occurred at fuel percentages below stoichiometric mixtures.  This was speculated to be due to the competing effects of stoichiometry and hot spot criticality.  Sensitivity results were compared to run-to-failure distances and published critical diameter trends and showed good agreement. 

Funding

U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate, Office of University Programs, under Grant Award No. 2013-ST-061-ED0001

History

Degree Type

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Department

Mechanical Engineering

Campus location

West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Steven Son

Additional Committee Member 2

Metin Ornek

Additional Committee Member 3

Wayne Chen

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