The military continually seeks more powerful explosive warheads. Aluminum (Al) containing explosives, or aluminized compositions, such as ammonal (ammonium nitrate/trinitrotoluene/aluminum powder/charcoal 65%/15%/17%/3%) was used by the military as early as World War I, in particular by Austrians, Germans, and to lesser extent by the French but the costs of Al in the early 1900s limited its use.
Lower costs brought back the use of Al in explosives during WWII.
Currently, industry and the military use aluminized/metalized explosives that are comprised of solid particles of explosive substances and solid particles of metals. The pressure-time curves of explosions containing Al do not have such high peaks as do the corresponding non-aluminized explosives but the pressures remain high, lasting 2-3 times as long which is a highly desired characteristic.
As the next step in the advancement of the use of Al in explosives, Army scientists are incorporating hollow Al micro-particles deposited within the high explosive matrix.
When such explosive is detonated, the resulting detonation products act to collapse the hollow Al (or other suitable metal) micro-particles, forming a multiplicity of high-velocity nano/micro-fragments, nano/micro-jets, and sub-particle debris, promoting fast aluminum/metal oxidation reaction, and, thereby, tremendously increasing the power of such explosive.
Employing the hollow aluminum/metal micro-particle technology of this invention can increase both “metal pushing” and the “air-blast” power found in state-of-the-art aluminized/metalized explosives by as much as 30%, provided that the aluminum/metal additive can be vaporized at the vicinity of the explosive detonation wavefront.
The invention might also be used in industry for rock blasting, mining, explosive welding, earth drilling, or in the military on fragmentation warheads, explosively formed penetrators, air blast warheads, shaped charge jets of shaped charge warheads, or other high explosive-driven devices.
- High energy, high-energy rate release, high-explosive composition
- The interior of the micro-particles may contain air, nitrogen, other gases, or possibly even be a vacuum
- Other metals can be used such as lithium, boron, magnesium, titanium, beryllium, or a combination of aluminum and such other metals
- US patent 9,828,303 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Army researchers