Obed Samuelraj, I
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The near field blast–wave propagation dynamics has been a subject of intense research in recent past. Since experiments on a large scale are difficult to carry out, focus has been directed towards recreating these blast waves inside the laboratory by expending minuscule amounts of energy(few joules),which have been termed here as micro–blast waves. In the present study, micro-blast waves are generated from the open end of a small diameter polymer tube (Inner Diameter of 1.3 mm)coated on its inner side with negligible amounts of HMX explosive (~18 mg/m), along with traces of aluminium powder. Experimental, numerical, and analytical approaches have been adopted in this investigation to understand the generation and subsequent propagation of these micro–blast waves in the open domain. Time–resolved schlieren flow visualization experiments, using a high speed digital camera, and dynamic pressure measurements (head–on and side–on pressures) have been carried out. Quasi one dimensional numerical modeling of the detonation process inside the tube, has been carried out by considering the reaction kinetics of a single(HMX) reaction to account for the reaction dynamics of HMX. The one dimensional numerical model is then coupled to a commercial Navier– Stokes equation solver to understand the propagation of the blast wave from the open end of the tube. A theory that is valid for large scale explosions of intermediate strength was then used for the first time to understand the propagation dynamics of these micro–blast waves. From the experiments, the trajectory of the blast wave was mapped, and its initial Mach number was found to be about 3.7. The side–on overpressure was found to be 5.5 psi at a distance of 20 mm from the tube, along an axis, offset by 30 mm from the tube axis. These values were found to compare quite well with the numerically obtained data in the open domain. From the numerical model of the tube, the energy in the blast wave was inferred to be 1.5 J. This value was then used in the analytical theory and excellent correlation was obtained, suggesting the exciting possibility of using such theories, validated for large-scale explosions, to describe these micro–blasts. Considering the uncertainties in the approximate model, a better estimate of energy was obtained by working back the energy(using the analytical model) from the trajectory data as 1.25 J. The average TNT equivalent, a measure of its strength relative to a TNT explosion, was found to be 0.3. A few benchmark experiments, demonstrating the capability of this novel blast device have also been done by comparing them against the extant large–scale explosion database, suggesting the possibility of using these micro–blast waves to study certain aspects of large–scale explosions.
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