Measurement of convective burn rates in gaps of PBX 9501

Berghout, H. Laine; Son, Steven F.; Asay, Blaine W
April 2000
AIP Conference Proceedings;2000, Vol. 505 Issue 1, p841
Academic Journal
Impact or thermal ignition of high explosives, HE, results in deformation that can lead to fracture. Fracture, combined with high pressure, dramatically increases the available surface area and changes the mode of combustion. Recent impact and cookoff experiments on PBX 9501, (HMX, octahydro-l,3,5,7-tetranitro-l,3,5,7-tetrazocine, with a binder), have shown complex cracking patterns caused by impact or pressurization. Fast reactive waves have been observed to propagate through the cracks at about 500 m/s. We present experiments that investigate the propagation of fast reactive waves in cracks of PBX 9501, focusing on the reactive wave velocity and on the interplay of pressure and crack size. Experiments at initial pressures of 6.0 MPa reveal nonoscillatory reactive wave propagation velocities around 7 m/s for a 100 µm slot. Similar experiments at lower pressure exhibit unstable reactive wave propagation in the slot with periodic oscillations whose frequencies vary with combustion vessel pressure. In threshold pressure experiments for combustion propagation into closed end slots of PBX 9501 we find that combustion propagates into 2 mm, 1 mm, and 100 µm slots at approximately 0.1, 0.2, and 0.9 MPa, respectively. This is the first known study that focuses on the effect of convective burning in voids of PBX 9501.


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