Shock initiation and hot spots in plastic-bonded 1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene (TATB)

Wei Zhang, Lawrence Salvati, Meysam Akhtar, Dana D. Dlott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


TATB (1,3,5-triamino-2,4,6-trinitrobenzene) is a powerful explosive whose dynamical behavior is difficult to study because TATB is so insensitive to initiation by shock waves. We used a tabletop microscope equipped with 0-4.5 km/s laser-launched flyer plates to study shock initiation of TATB, which was fabricated in the form of an array of hundreds of plastic-bonded explosive minicharges (X-TATB = 80% TATB + 20% Sylgard 182 polymer). The 4 ns shocks from the flyer plates were not effective in initiating TATB, but we also developed a two-layer array where flyers first initiated a plastic-bonded PETN (pentaerythritol tetranitrate) charge (X-PETN = 80% PETN + 20% Sylgard), which drove an initiating 25 ns shock into the X-TATB. Thermal emission from shocked X-TATB was used to measure time-dependent temperature profiles with a resolution of 2 ns and to produce high-speed (5 ns) videos. In X-TATB, flyer plates produced 2500-3500 K hot spots and combustion at 2500 K. With X-PETN initiators, X-TATB had 3500-4000 K hot spots and a powerful volume explosion lasting a few nanoseconds. Prospects for producing TATB detonations on a tabletop are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number124102
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number12
StatePublished - Mar 23 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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