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Title: Aluminum-Enhanced Underwater Electrical Discharges for Steam Explosion Triggering

Abstract

For a number of years, we have been initiating steam explosions of single drops of molten materials with pressure and flow (bubble growth) transients generated by discharging a capacitor bank through gold bridgewires placed underwater. Recent experimental and theoretical advances in the field of steam explosions, however, have made it important to substantially increase these relatively mild transients in water without using high explosives, if possible. To do this with the same capacitor bank, we have discharged similar energies through tiny strips of aluminum foil submerged in water. By replacing the gold wires with the aluminum strips, we were able to add the energy of the aluminum-water combustion to that normally deposited electrically by the bridgewire explosion in water. The chemical enhancement of the explosive characteristics of the discharges was substantial: when the same electrical energies were discharged through the aluminum strips, peak pressures increased as much as 12-fold and maximum bubble volumes as much as 5-fold above those generated with the gold wires. For given weights of aluminum, the magnitudes of both parameters appeared to exceed those produced by the underwater explosion of equivalent weights of high explosives.

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (US); Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
12653
Report Number(s):
SAND99-0796
TRN: US0102570
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Jul 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; ALUMINIUM; BUBBLES; CAPACITORS; CHEMICAL EXPLOSIVES; COMBUSTION; GOLD; STEAM; TRANSIENTS; UNDERWATER EXPLOSIONS; EXPLODING WIRES

Citation Formats

HOGELAND, STEVE R., NELSON, LLOYD S., and ROTH, THOMAS CHRISTOPHER. Aluminum-Enhanced Underwater Electrical Discharges for Steam Explosion Triggering. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.2172/12653.
HOGELAND, STEVE R., NELSON, LLOYD S., & ROTH, THOMAS CHRISTOPHER. Aluminum-Enhanced Underwater Electrical Discharges for Steam Explosion Triggering. United States. doi:10.2172/12653.
HOGELAND, STEVE R., NELSON, LLOYD S., and ROTH, THOMAS CHRISTOPHER. Thu . "Aluminum-Enhanced Underwater Electrical Discharges for Steam Explosion Triggering". United States. doi:10.2172/12653. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/12653.
@article{osti_12653,
title = {Aluminum-Enhanced Underwater Electrical Discharges for Steam Explosion Triggering},
author = {HOGELAND, STEVE R. and NELSON, LLOYD S. and ROTH, THOMAS CHRISTOPHER},
abstractNote = {For a number of years, we have been initiating steam explosions of single drops of molten materials with pressure and flow (bubble growth) transients generated by discharging a capacitor bank through gold bridgewires placed underwater. Recent experimental and theoretical advances in the field of steam explosions, however, have made it important to substantially increase these relatively mild transients in water without using high explosives, if possible. To do this with the same capacitor bank, we have discharged similar energies through tiny strips of aluminum foil submerged in water. By replacing the gold wires with the aluminum strips, we were able to add the energy of the aluminum-water combustion to that normally deposited electrically by the bridgewire explosion in water. The chemical enhancement of the explosive characteristics of the discharges was substantial: when the same electrical energies were discharged through the aluminum strips, peak pressures increased as much as 12-fold and maximum bubble volumes as much as 5-fold above those generated with the gold wires. For given weights of aluminum, the magnitudes of both parameters appeared to exceed those produced by the underwater explosion of equivalent weights of high explosives.},
doi = {10.2172/12653},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {7}
}