Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shock Tube Simulates Explosions to Test Homeland Defense Materials

20.08.2004


People are just as likely to be killed, or property damaged, by the shock wave from an exploding bomb as from flying debris or flames. The rush of gases emanating from a bomb can travel more than 10 times the speed of sound, destroying everything in its path.



Two University of Rhode Island engineers have constructed a "shock tube" to simulate this rush of gas so they can test the ability of various new composite materials to withstand these extreme forces.

"What we’re creating is a controlled explosive effect so we can test materials for their resistance to explosions," explained Carl-Ernst Rousseau, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. "When chemicals react and burst in a bomb, they create a pressure pulse in the air that expands. That’s what we’re creating in the shock tube."


Rousseau and Arun Shukla, professor and chairman of the URI Department of Mechanical Engineering, received grants from the U.S. Army ($150,000), the U.S. Office of Naval Research ($170,000), the URI Transportation Center ($80,000) and 3Tex Corp. ($86,000) to construct and test the 23-foot long, 6-inch diameter, aluminum tube.

With a thin barrier placed 6 feet from the near end of the tube, the URI scientists pump helium into the tube until the pressure builds so high that it bursts through the barrier. The gas then speeds down the remaining 17-foot length of the tube at speeds of up to Mach 6 (six times the speed of sound) and slams into a material placed at the opposite end. Sensors attached to the material being tested monitor the pressure and strain exerted on the material during impact.

"This device has a wide variety of homeland security applications because the government is very interested in protecting people and equipment from the impact of blasts," said Shukla.

The first material the researchers are testing is a composite called 3-Weave developed by North Carolina-based 3Tex, a company Shukla has worked with for many years on other research applications. While most fabric is woven in two directions, 3Tex weaves its glass fibers in three directions to provide added strength. When applied to a ceramic backing, it is used as a lightweight armor for protecting military vehicles.

Rousseau and Shukla are testing the lightweight material without the ceramic backing to assess its effectiveness for other uses, like the side panels of trucks to protect the cargo from a bomb. Truck panels made of 3-Weave might also protect those outside the truck from an accidental explosion inside a truck carrying chemicals, propane or other volatile materials.

Several other companies have asked the researchers to test composite materials they have developed as well.

Rousseau also plans to test cow bones to evaluate the dynamic property of bone under explosive impact. "We obviously can’t study how bombs impact human bodies, but the shock tube allows us to do the next best thing," he said.

The URI researchers will also test other materials that may be in the path of an explosion, like building materials, concrete and safety glass.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.uri.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells
11.12.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

nachricht Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires
07.12.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht - Zentrum für Material- und Küstenforschung

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

Im Focus: Virtual Reality for Bacteria

An interdisciplinary group of researchers interfaced individual bacteria with a computer to build a hybrid bio-digital circuit - Study published in Nature Communications

Scientists at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) have managed to control the behavior of individual bacteria by connecting them to a...

Im Focus: A space-time sensor for light-matter interactions

Physicists in the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics (run jointly by LMU Munich and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics) have developed an attosecond electron microscope that allows them to visualize the dispersion of light in time and space, and observe the motions of electrons in atoms.

The most basic of all physical interactions in nature is that between light and matter. This interaction takes place in attosecond times (i.e. billionths of a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Midwife and signpost for photons

11.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

How do megacities impact coastal seas? Searching for evidence in Chinese marginal seas

11.12.2017 | Earth Sciences

PhoxTroT: Optical Interconnect Technologies Revolutionized Data Centers and HPC Systems

11.12.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>