Characterization Techniques Employed to Determine the Energy Release of Reactive Materials

Report No. ARL-TR-5125
Authors: John J. Ritter, Andrew L. Brant, Joseph W. Colburn, Barrie E. Homan, and Kevin L. McNesby
Date/Pages: March 2010; 34 pages
Abstract: Reactive materials show a promising future in an assortment of Army weapons systems due to their unique material characteristics. They have the potential to provide for enhanced lethality over their conventional munitions counterparts. However, those characteristics are not well defined, particularly the materials' fundamental energy release mechanisms. Through live fire experimental testing of an array of reactive materials consisting of an Al-Ni base, energy release characteristics can be understood on a more scientific level. This is accomplished through the incorporation of customized diagnostic techniques. Test samples of reactive material are fired via a powder gun into a steel-enclosed test chamber fitted with a polycarbonate window for witnessing the event. Raw data from the reaction event is recorded via high speed cameras and oscilloscopes. Analytical tools that are incorporated to characterize the event include pressure measurement gages, high speed imaging, pyrometry, spectroscopy, and flash x-ray. Through a systematic, scientific approach the vast amounts of data collected using these diagnostic tools is then processed into practical information of the reactive material's energy release behavior.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2010