Measurement of the limit of shock precompression and induction delay time of liquid explosives


  1. Higgins, A.J.
  2. Lee, J.H.S.
  3. Zhang, F.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research Establishment Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN);Swacer Inc, Outremont QUE (CAN)
This report presents the results of a one-year study into the shock initiation of detonation in liquid explosives. This study used nitromethane (both pure and chemically sensitized) as the test explosive. The initiating shock wave was generated by the detonation of sensitized nitromethane (the "donor"), which was attenuated by a gap of inert material before transmission into the test charge of nitromethane (the "receptor"). Considerable effort was directed at developing and assessing diagnostics that could be used to track the shock wave in the inert attenuator and measure or predict the shock pressures generated. The shock x-t trajectory in inert attenuator materials (PMMA and copper) were measured using shock pins and contact gauges with two different diameter charges (25 and 50 mm). Once the shock trajectory is measured, the shock velocity and known Hugoniot data were used to predict the shock pressure. These predictions were independently verified with direct measurement of pressure using manganin gauges, which also permitted the pressure profile behind the shock to be obtained. Once the shock generator (donor charge and attenuator) were well quantified, the initiation of nitromethane (both pure and sensitized) was studied as a function of the strength of the transmitted shock and the diameter of the charge configuration. The critical thickness of PMMA attenuator was determined for charges of 25, 50, and 100 mm in diameters. TRUNCATED
Liquid explosives;Energetic explosives;Energetic materials;Sensitized nitromethane;Shock initiation
Report Number
DRES-CR-2001-045 — Contractor Report (Final Report)
Date of publication
01 Feb 2001
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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