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Title: Finding the “lost-time” in detonator function

Abstract

Exploding bridgewire (EBW) detonators were invented during the Manhattan Project over 75 years ago. Initially developed for precise timing and reproducibility, they continue to be used in many applications. Despite widespread use and reliability, their mechanism for function remains controversial. They provide precision timing, yet their function is described in terms of a “lost time” accounting for nearly half of the function time. Buried in understanding the EBW function is the mystery of how an incoherent impulse such as powering a bridgewire yields the coherent energy output of a detonation. Even the general phenomena by which release of chemical energy in a crystalline organic explosive becomes associated with the sonic plane of a steady detonation wave remain uncertain. Here, we investigate the EBW function with a suite of diagnostics and show that stationary heating occurs during the “lost-time.” We use x-ray radiography to observe the propagation of a shock wave from bridgewire vaporization and establish that the origin of the radially emanating detonation wave is spatially separated from the initial shock. Utilizing the observed temperature as a boundary condition in our explosive response models yields a thermal ignition consistent with the “lost-time” and detonation location consistent with previous work. Withmore » these findings, we define a direct thermal initiation mechanism for the EBW function consistent with previous integral observations and explain the displacement of initiation from the bridgewire burst in time and space.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1511626
Report Number(s):
LA-UR-18-31794
Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Grant/Contract Number:  
89233218CNA000001
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Applied Physics Letters
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 10; Journal ID: ISSN 0003-6951
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; detonator

Citation Formats

Smilowitz, Laura Beth, Remelius, Dennis Keith, Suvorova, Natalya Alexandra, Bowlan, Pamela Renee, Oschwald, David M., and Henson, Bryan Faye. Finding the “lost-time” in detonator function. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5088606.
Smilowitz, Laura Beth, Remelius, Dennis Keith, Suvorova, Natalya Alexandra, Bowlan, Pamela Renee, Oschwald, David M., & Henson, Bryan Faye. Finding the “lost-time” in detonator function. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5088606.
Smilowitz, Laura Beth, Remelius, Dennis Keith, Suvorova, Natalya Alexandra, Bowlan, Pamela Renee, Oschwald, David M., and Henson, Bryan Faye. Wed . "Finding the “lost-time” in detonator function". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5088606.
@article{osti_1511626,
title = {Finding the “lost-time” in detonator function},
author = {Smilowitz, Laura Beth and Remelius, Dennis Keith and Suvorova, Natalya Alexandra and Bowlan, Pamela Renee and Oschwald, David M. and Henson, Bryan Faye},
abstractNote = {Exploding bridgewire (EBW) detonators were invented during the Manhattan Project over 75 years ago. Initially developed for precise timing and reproducibility, they continue to be used in many applications. Despite widespread use and reliability, their mechanism for function remains controversial. They provide precision timing, yet their function is described in terms of a “lost time” accounting for nearly half of the function time. Buried in understanding the EBW function is the mystery of how an incoherent impulse such as powering a bridgewire yields the coherent energy output of a detonation. Even the general phenomena by which release of chemical energy in a crystalline organic explosive becomes associated with the sonic plane of a steady detonation wave remain uncertain. Here, we investigate the EBW function with a suite of diagnostics and show that stationary heating occurs during the “lost-time.” We use x-ray radiography to observe the propagation of a shock wave from bridgewire vaporization and establish that the origin of the radially emanating detonation wave is spatially separated from the initial shock. Utilizing the observed temperature as a boundary condition in our explosive response models yields a thermal ignition consistent with the “lost-time” and detonation location consistent with previous work. With these findings, we define a direct thermal initiation mechanism for the EBW function consistent with previous integral observations and explain the displacement of initiation from the bridgewire burst in time and space.},
doi = {10.1063/1.5088606},
journal = {Applied Physics Letters},
issn = {0003-6951},
number = 10,
volume = 114,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
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Works referenced in this record:

Direct Observation of the Phenomenology of a Solid Thermal Explosion Using Time-Resolved Proton Radiography
journal, June 2008


X-ray transmission movies of spontaneous dynamic events
journal, November 2014

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