VULNERABILITY OF NUCLEAR WEAPON SYSTEMS TO FIRE STUDIES OF BURNING EXPLOSIVES
Final rept. 15 June 1959-30 Nov 1962
IIT RESEARCH INST CHICAGO IL
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This report covers analytical and experimental studies of the behavior of burning Composition B and PBX 9404 under various degrees of confinement. These studies were undertaken to determine the properties of the gas, the conductive heat transfer to the explosive, the radiant heat transfer to the surfaces of the high-explosive and chamber, and the heat evolved by the burning of the explosive. The work resulted in a theory which describes the burning of the explosives under unconfined and confined conditions, and the ensuing pressure buildup during the period the explosive remains intact and the reaction is limited to its surface. The results are in good agreement with experimental measurements of pressure, gas temperature, chamber temperature, and heat flux to meters in the gas stream. Beyond a pressure of about 1000 psia, the samples of Composition B cracked causing an abrupt increase in the rate of pressure rise. The cause of these phenomena and the question of whether or not PBX 9404 cracks were not resolved. The results of this work may be used to predict the minimum order of explosion which may arise from a system that is exposed to heating.
- Nuclear Weapons