PANEL DISCUSSION 'THE BARRICADE QUESTION: WHAT WE KNOW AND WHAT WE DON'T KNOW,'
NAVAL ORDNANCE LAB WHITE OAK MD
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Present barricade usage for the most part is based on vague and often incorrect intuitive assumptions. This is borne out by a recent comprehensive study of accidental explosions that showed that barricades did not reduce damage to adjacent buildings in any significant way. This result confirms earlier limited studies and is consistent with established knowledge on the diffraction of blast waves about obstacles. Also, since it was found that barricades are often destroyed in accidents, their role as a secondary fragment source must be considered along with their role as a primary fragment stopped, if their effectiveness in reducing fragment damage in general is to be properly evaluated. While barricades undoubtedly have value under some circumstances for preventing explosion propagation and possible injury to personnel, the conditions for obtaining such benefits are not now known in terms of quantitative ranges of blast, fragmentation, or other effects of explosions. Explosive storage problems must be studied in the light of available knowledge of the physical effects of explosions in order to know what loads protective construction must withstand and thus whether it is technically feasible and economically desirable to provide some selected degree and type of protection. Much information of the type needed is already available and needs only to be applied. Other needed information can be obtained by means of analytical and experimental techniques already in established use for explosives applications. Author
- Ammunition and Explosives