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A Computational Investigation of Various Water-induced Explosion Mitigation Mechanisms

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Interactions of the detonation-product gas, shell-casing fragments, soil ejecta and various other debris with bulk water barriers surrounding the explosive have been demonstrated to have a potentially major beneficial effect in mitigation of the effects of an explosion. In the present work, various computational methods ranging from those based on thermo-chemistry of the detonation/combustion chemical reactions to those involving transient, nonlinear-dynamics based mechanical interactions between detonation products, air and water are used to better understand and quantify the beneficial effects of various potential explosion-mitigation mechanisms. In particular, the absorption of the detonation energy by water, water-aerosolization induced reduction in the shock speed, transfer of momentum from the explosion products to water and deceleration/suppression of the combustion reactions are examined computationally. The results obtained show that water evaporation which consumes a substantial portion of the detonation energy plays a dominant role in the overall water-induced explosion-mitigation process. The detonation-product-to-water momentum transfer which causes water aerosolization, on the other hand, is found to be a key prerequisite for efficient explosion mitigation.


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Affiliations: 1: Department of Mechanical EngineeringClemson University, Clemson SC 29634-0921; 2: Army Research Laboratory – Survivability Materials Branch Aberdeen, Proving Ground, MD 21005-5069


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