The Effects of Physical and Chemical Processes on Two-Phase Detonations,
ARMY ARMAMENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT COMMAND DOVER NJ
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Systematic studies of the effect of additives and fuel drop size on the detonability of heptane-air mixtures have been carried out under controlled laboratory conditions and in large scale field tests. It was shown in the shock tube studies that n-propyl nitrate and butyl nitrite as well as, to a lesser extent, small drop size can greatly widen the detonation limits and reduce initiation requirements of heptane-air mixtures. Large scale field tests of explosively disseminated fuel-air clouds confirm findings obtained in the laboratory tests, demonstrating that systematic laboratory tests can be used to predict detonability and performance of any new fuel system to be used in FAE munitions. Unique schlieren photographs of the reaction zone of propagating fuel-air detonations have been successfully obtained. No blast waves are observed either in the wave of single shocked fuel drops or from drops in the reaction zones of propagating detonations with air. Apparently, the assumption that such blast waves are necessary to maintain a two-phase detonation, is incorrect. Sensitized heptane is potentially superior to fuels used in current FAE munitions, providing increased explosive performance larger area coverage per unit weight of fuel, greater safety in transport and handling and lower procurement costs.
- Ammunition and Explosives