Expanding Pumice Technology to the Protection of Missile Warheads from Sympathetic Detonation
NAVAL AIR WARFARE CENTER WEAPONS DIV CHINA LAKE CA
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Throughout history, developing a method to ensure that explosives are safely stored has perplexed and challenged the military logistician because, when conventional munitions are stored in a centralized location, the possibility of sympathetic detonation exists. This report discusses how a unique admixture, which can provide reliability and safety in storing munitions, was designed and tested. This admixture is composed of pumice and a material to bond the particles of the pumice. Early tests used plaster of paris as the bonding agent. Although this material was effective, there was concern that it would absorb water. Subsequent tests were conducted using variations of plaster and cement and a two-part epoxy-resin mixture. Of the agents tested, the two-part epoxy resin was the most efficient bonding agent. A series of tests was conducted on a variety of munitions to evaluate the feasibility of using a pumice-filled container as a barrier to prevent sympathetic detonation and propagation. Most of the large tests were conducted using pumice in its natural form with no bonding material. The munitions were placed inside a container and surrounded by pumice. When a bonding agent was used, the agent served to shape the pumice and hold it in place within the container. Both methods proved effective for stopping sympathetic detonation. The results of the tests indicated that pumice-filled containers can be used effectively to safely store several specific types of munitions however, further testing is recommended to establish the minimum container size for maximum effectiveness and to finalize the containers design to ensure safe handling.
- Structural Engineering and Building Technology
- Guided Missile Warheads and Fuzes
- Ammunition and Explosives