A shaped charge is an explosive shaped to focus the effect of the energy. Various types are used to cut and form metal, initiate nuclear weapons, penetrate armor, and “complete” wells in the oil and gas industry. At the heart of the shaped charge is the conical liner which shapes the shock waves into a designed pattern. Liners are composed of various materials from metals to glass, and unsintered powders depending on the use of the charge. Upon detonation of the primary charge, the liner material produces a molten jet as part of the impact force. The science around optimizing the explosion is precise but the methods to measure different aspects of the explosive event are difficult given the time order (in microseconds) and speeds exceeding 17,000 MPH.
In order to better optimize shape charges, Navy researchers have developed a low-cost and practical method to analyze the liner collapse event and the liner material after an explosive event. The method and developed apparatus detonates the explosive under water or with less than 10% of the ordinary amount of explosive material. Since the explosion occurs in water or with less explosive material, the liner does not fully form a shaped charge. Once recovered from the test apparatus, the state of the early deformation of the liner can be examined.
- This process shows early liner collapse and jet formation not perceptible by flight flash X-ray
- The process allows for time stamping, which is not possible with post-explosion metallurgical analysis
- US patent 9,651,509 available for license
- Potential for collaboration with Navy resarchers