Ignition of PBXW-115 Due to Electrostatic Discharge
NAVAL SURFACE WARFARE CENTER SILVER SPRING MD
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Electrostatic discharge experiments were conducted on PBXW-1 15, an aluminized explosive. It was observed that this explosive conducts prior to catastrophic breakdown. However, these studies demonstrated that any significant reaction is confined to the discharge path following breakdown. Sustained ignition was not observed until the samples were restrained. Shock energy fluence data for PBXW-115 were used to show that mechanical shock is the probable cause of ignition due to an electrical discharge. It was hypothesized that the thermal explosion of the material in the electrical discharge channel transmits a shock wave into the unreacted explosive. The explosive is subsequently ignited. The analysis of the shock mechanics indicated that the degree of reaction caused by the electrical discharge is dependant on the diameter of the ignited channel. The channel diameters formed by electrical discharge in recovered explosive samples were found to be consistent with shock wave energy fluences necessary for first reaction according to this model. Electrostatic Discharge, Dielectric Breakdown, Mechanical Shockwave, Ignition, Arc Discharge, Energy Fluence, PBXW-115, Thermal Explosion.
- Ammunition and Explosives
- Electricity and Magnetism
- Combustion and Ignition