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Case Study—Reliability of Detonation Train with Shaped Charge Donor



Common methods for analyzing the detonation transfer probability of an explosive train by introduction of a gap penalty include Bruceton, Probit, and similar fire/no-fire methods. The introduction of a plastic gap leads to shock wave reduction, thus making it possible to test a small sample under severe conditions, rather than testing a large sample at nominal working conditions. The main assumption in most cases, is that detonation transfer is based on shock wave propagation. However, when the donor explosive resembles a shaped charge, this assumption may be reconsidered since more than one initiation process takes place. The penalty imposed by a plastic gap on shock wave propagation may differ from its influence on the initiation process by a shaped charge. In the presented work, a case-study has been examined both theoretically and empirically. Theoretical and numerical models were considered, followed by a Bruceton-analysis field test. The explosive train examined consisted of a standard detonator with a shaped charge at its base and a CH6 booster. A test was performed based on the Bruceton method. The distribution of the initiation probability predicted by numerical models is compared to Bruceton test results. The model's prediction and the test results are in good correlation. The experimental results suggest that Bruceton analysis may be applicable when a donor explosive with shaped charge output is used. Further work should be performed to verify applicability of the Bruceton method for a wider range of similar engineering configurations.

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