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International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion
ESCI SJR: 0.142 SNIP: 0.16 CiteScore™: 0.29

ISSN Print: 2150-766X
ISSN Online: 2150-7678

International Journal of Energetic Materials and Chemical Propulsion

DOI: 10.1615/IntJEnergeticMaterialsChemProp.2012005239
pages 351-364

ENTRAINMENT OF POWDERS AND SOILS INTO EXPLOSIVE FIREBALLS

Luke S. Lebel
Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Canada, Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Patrick Brousseau
Defence Research and Development Canada − Valcartier, 2459 Pie-XI Blvd North, Quebec, Canada G35 ix5
Lorne Erhardt
Defence Research and Development Canada−Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
William S. Andrews
Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Canada, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

ABSTRACT

This paper explores how particles interact with one another in the fireball of an explosion. The dispersal of a tracer, powdered lanthanum oxide (as La2O3), is investigated, as are the effects of the entrainment of soil in the explosive fireball. Experiments have involved detonating 15 g charges of C-4 in a sealed 5 L detonation vessel under atmospheres of nitrogen or air, and in contact with quartz sand, black earth, or clay. It has been found that particle interactions serve to increase the overall size of particles because the particles fuse together, deposit onto one another, and form agglomerates. As bigger particles are heavier and less able to stay suspended in the air, particle interactions with soil serve to decrease the quantity of the powdered tracer that remains aerosol sized. Essentially, particle interactions in the fireball reduce the number of particles that are small enough to stay suspended in the air.