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 Topological material switched off and on for the first time
11.12.2018 | ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies

nachricht Proteins imaged in graphene liquid cell have higher radiation tolerance
10.12.2018 | INM - Leibniz-Institut für Neue Materialien gGmbH

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>