Temperature-Controlled Large-Scale Impact Sensitivity Tester,
LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL LAB NM
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Knowing the sensitivity of liquid, partially molten, or hot and confined explosives to impact loads would enhance the safety engineering of two explosives-handling operations 1 in processing, e.g. in melt-casting or in heated pressing of plastic bonded explosives and 2 upon return of munitions exposed to heating, e.g., externally carried weapons after supersonic flight. Sensitivity to handling accidents for solid, cool explosives can be evaluated with considerable confidence, because there is an extensive body of data obtained both at the laboratory scale and in the field for comparison. However, the safety of handling liquid explosives, particularly under field conditions, is considerably less predictable. Phenomena such as cavitation, foaming, and bubble compression affect drastically the initiation behavior of liquid explosives to mild impact. Duplication of potential accident situations is intractable and it is necessary to use tests that simulate various field conditions.