Removing Full-scale Testing Barriers: Energetic Material Detonation Characterization at the Laboratory Scale

Report No. ARL-TR-5943
Authors: Matthew M. Biss
Date/Pages: March 2012; 34 pages
Abstract: A novel energetic-material detonation and air-blast characterization technique is proposed through the use of a laboratory-scale-based modified "aquarium test". A streak camera is used to record the radial shock wave expansion rate at the energetic material–air interface of spherical laboratory-scale (i.e., gram-range) charges detonated in air. A linear regression fit is applied to the measured streak record data. Using this in conjunction with the conservation laws, material Hugoniots, and two empirically established relationships, a procedure is developed to determine fundamental detonation properties (pressure, velocity, particle velocity, and density) and air shock wave properties (pressure, velocity, and particle velocity) at the energetic material–air interface. The experimentally determined properties are in good agreement with published values. The theory's applicability is extended using historical aquarium test data due to the limited number of experiments able to be performed. Predicted detonation wave and air shock wave properties are in good agreement for a multitude of energetics across various atmospheric conditions.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2012