Effect of Shock Precompression on the Critical Diameter of Liquid Explosives


  1. Petel, O.E.
  2. Higgins, A.J.
  3. Yoshinaka, A.C.
  4. Zhang, F.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Suffield, Ralston ALTA (CAN);McGill Univ, Montreal QUE (CAN) Dept of Mechanical Engineering
The Critical diameter of both ambient and shock-precompressed liquid nitromethane confined in OVC tubing are measured experimentally. The experiment was conducted for both sensitized and neat NM. In the precompression experiments, the explosive is compressed by a strong shock wave generated by a donor explosive and reflected from high impedance anvil prior to being detonated by a secondary event. The pressures reached in the test sections prior to detonation propagation was approximately 7 and 8 GPa for amine sensitized and neat NM respectively. The results demonstrated a 30%-65% decrease in the critical diameter for the shock-compressed explosives. This critical diameter decrease in observed despite a significant decrease in the predicted Von Neumann temperature of the detonation in the precompressed explosive. The results are discussed in the context of theoretical predictions based on thermal ignition theory and previous critical diameter measurements.
Date of publication
01 Jan 2005
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
American Institute of Physics, 2006, p 998-1001
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