INADEQUACY OF THERMAL INITIATION THEORY IN INTERPRETING RESULTS OF FISSION-FRAGMENT IRRADIATION OF EXPLOSIVES AT ELEVATED TEMPERATURES
PICATINNY ARSENAL DOVER NJ FELTMAN RESEARCH LABS
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An extreme test of the hot-spot model of explosive initiation as applied to microscale irradiation events should occur when the explosives are irradiated at elevated temperatures. To so test this model, fission-fragment irradiations of four explosives selected for their high reaction rates RDX, HMX, PETN, and nitroglycerin were performed at 125 to 215 C. No explosions or signs of thermal decomposition were observed with any of the explosives. Since a detailed analysis of the resulting cylindrical zones of radiation heating and their subsequent behavior with time predicts initiation for these particular explosives, it appears that the hot-spot model is inadequate in describing microscale irradiation phenomena.
- Ammunition and Explosives