Shock initiation of explosives: Temperature spikes and growth spurts

Will P. Bassett, Dana D. Dlott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When energetic materials are subjected to high-velocity impacts, the first steps in the shock-to-detonation transition are the creation, ignition, and growth of hot spots. We used 1-3.2 km s-1 laser-launched flyer plates to impact powdered octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine, a powerful explosive, and monitored hundreds of emission bursts with an apparatus that determined temperature and emissivity at all times. The time-dependent volume fraction of hot spots was determined by measuring the time-dependent emissivity. After the shock, most hot spots extinguished, but the survivors smoldered for hundreds of nanoseconds until their temperatures spiked, causing a hot spot growth spurt. Depending on the impact duration, the growth spurts could be as fast as 300 ns and as slow as 13 μs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number091903
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number9
StatePublished - Aug 29 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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