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We have worked with several DOD agencies on projects involving munitions research, reactive materials and obtained environmental clearances to perform large scale tests and disposal of energetic waste. Our work over the years focused on the development of models for prediction of munitions cook-off, impact induced ignition of reactive materials, and emissions from munition and energetic waste.

  • Munitions Research and Testing
    • Cookoff Analysis and Hazard Classification of Energetic Materials (Explosives, Propellants, etc.)
    • Weapon Testing with ADORA
    • Payload Technologies for Enhanced Target Defeat: Reactive Materials and Interhalogens
    • Lethality Analysis
  • OBOD
    • Site permitting applications
    • Environmental impact analysis

Slow Cookoff of PBXN-109

We developed an engineering model for the Slow Cook Off (SCO) of explosive materials exposed to heat. We applied this model to a relatively insensitive munition composition namely, PBXN-109. We validated the model by comparing the predictions with small scale cookoff tests (Navy pipe bomb tests and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory STEX) and Navy's full scale tests (on a Heavy Wall Penetrator and a 500 lb GP Bomb). The casing temperature at cookoff and the time to cookoff predicted by our model agree well with the test data. Also, the strain data predicted by the model during the early stages of cookoff agree well with the measured strain gage data. The strain gage data are not reliable during later stages of cookoff as the gages become debonded from the vessel wall.

Reactive Materials

We developed an engineering model to predict the high-speed impact induced ignition of Aluminum-Teflon RM-4 reactive fragments. We considered various hot spot mechanisms including void collapse, shear banding, frictional dissipation, and shock heating and their effect on reaction initiation. Shown in the image below is a sequence of events that occur during the high speed impact of RM-4 reactive fragment with a metal target plate.

Large Scale Enclosed Detonation Tests

For the US Army DAC, we evaluated the emission data from full-scale enclosed detonation tests at the Nevada Test Site X-tunnel involving M107 HE loaded 155 mm projectiles. In addition to examining the internal consistency of test measurements, we performed detailed mass and energy balance calculations and calculated the dynamics of cloud evolution and the composition accounting for both detonation and after-burn reactions. These calculations showed that the effect of containment by the tunnel walls on the cloud evolution is significant. Our predictions of major products and most minor products (such as VOCs and SVOCs) agreed well with the test data.

Munitions Disposal Through Open Burn and Open Detonation (OBOD)

For a DoD contractor, we performed OBOD calculations to determine the potential emissions from planned munition and energetic waste disposal operations. Our results were used in the preparation of environmental site permitting applications.

Validation of Open Burn and Open Detonation Model Using BangBox Data

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