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Proceedings Paper

High Speed Photographic Observation Of The Initiation Of Detonation In Explosives By Imploding Shock Waves
Author(s): James L. Austing; Allen J. Tulis; David C. Heberlein
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Paper Abstract

This paper is concerned with the use of a Beckman & Whitley Model 189 framing camera to observe the initiation of detonation in cylindrical explosive charges by the detonation of a concentric outside layer of sheet explosive initiated at one end. Experiments were con-ducted with nitromethane, which is a transparent liquid explosive, and aluminum-potassium perchlorate, which is a binary mixture of fuel and oxidizer powders. The use of the transparent explosive permitted viewing along the entire length of the charge axis, so that the time of the nitromethane initiation as a function of the position of the concentric sheet explosive detonation could be observed. In the case of the binary charge, the experiment involved the simultaneous viewing of both the side and the end of the charge by a judicious positioning of two front-surface mirrors. One of these was oriented at the end of the charge at an angle of 45° with respect to the charge axis. The second mirror, larger in size, viewed the entire system, and was destructed at 656 psec by an explosive backing charge to preclude the possibility of film rewrite. Framing rates for both experiments were approximately 250,000 frames/sec. The induction time to initiation of detonation in the nitromethane was measured to be about 20 psec. However, the induction time for the aluminum-potassium perchlorate charge was too long to be recorded by the Beckman and Whitley camera. For this and other pyrotechnic dharges, it was necessary to use a slower writing Fastax camera recording at a rate of 2000 frames/sec; the induction times for the pyrotechnic systems were in the neighborhood of 1 to 3 msec, which is two orders of magnitude longer than for the nitromethane.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 January 1984
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 0427, High Speed Photography, Videography, and Photonics I, (9 January 1984); doi: 10.1117/12.936287
Show Author Affiliations
James L. Austing, ITT Research Institute (United States)
Allen J. Tulis, ITT Research Institute (United States)
David C. Heberlein, U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and Devlopment Command (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0427:
High Speed Photography, Videography, and Photonics I
Dennis L. Paisley, Editor(s)

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