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Method of Comparing Initiating Strength of Detonators Using Adjustable-Sensitivity Liquid Explosive
  • Published Date:
    1/1/2010
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  • Description:
    The U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) has developed a test procedure to compare the initiating strength of detonators by using adjustable-sensitivity liquid explosives. Various tests of detonator strength are currently used by the industry, but many of them do not quantify the ability of detonators to initiate detonation reactions in an explosive charge. The USBM used mixtures of nitromethane and ethylene diamine, the sensitivity being "fine-tuned" by 2-nitropropane. Military standard J-2, commercial No.6, and commercial No.8 detonators were evaluated using three test configurations: (1) axially immersed in the test explosive, (2) tip just touching surface of the explosive, and (3) immersed transversely in the explosive. Markedly different results were obtained for these three configurations, indicating that the directional effects are important. This explains why different detonator strength tests do not correlate well with each other. Some tests, such as the sand bomb and underwater, measure the total energy out-put, while other tests, such as the plate dent, test measure the energy in the axial direction. The USBM's test data indicate the importance of conducting the experimentation in the manner in which the detonator is actually intended to function.

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