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Corner turning and shock desensitization experiments plus numerical modeling of detonation waves in the triaminotrinitrobenzene based explosive LX-17.


Five new experiments are reported that tested both detonation wave corner turning and shock desensitization properties of the triaminotrinitrobenzene (TATB) based plastic bonded explosive (PBX) LX-17. These experiments used small pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) charges to initiate hemispherical ultrafine TATB (UF TATB) boosters, which then initiated LX-17 hemispherical detonations. The UF TATB boosters were placed under steel shadow plates embedded in the LX-17 cylindrical charges, which were covered by thin aluminum plates. The LX-17 detonation waves propagated outward until they reached the aluminum plates, which were instrumented with photonic Doppler velocimetry probes to measure their axial free surface velocities. X-ray radiographs and framing camera images were taken at various times. The LX-17 detonations propagated around the two corners of the steel shadow plates and into thin LX-17 layers placed between the steel and the top aluminum plates. The detonation waves were met there by weak diverging shocks that propagated through the steel plates and imparted 1-2 GPa pressures to these unreacted LX-17 layers. These weak shock waves compressed and desensitized the unreacted LX-17, resulting in failures of the LX-17 detonation waves. The hydrodynamics of double corner turning and shock desensitization in the five experiments were modeled in two dimensions using the Ignition and Growth LX-17 detonation reactive flow model. The calculated arrival times and axial free surface velocity histories of the top aluminum plates were in excellent agreement with the experimental measurements.