Metrics for Explosivity, Inerting & Compatibility
R1-B1

Download Project Report (Phase 2, Year 3)

Project Description

A myriad of materials has been considered as potential explosive threats.  Without multiple, expensive and hazardous large-scale tests, it is difficult to know what formulations or concentrations are indeed threats. It is also a difficult challenge to determine whether a threat material has been effectively mitigated.  Because the number of potential threats is large and highly diverse, it is essential that a quick, safe method of determining detonability be established—a method not requiring formulations of tons of material to determine if it is a hazard.  We have multiple approaches to this problem:

  • Using homemade explosives (HMEs) that are fuel/oxidizer (FOX) mixtures, we are characterizing their responses to small-scale tests and attempting to correlate such responses to modest-scale detonation testing;
  • We are applying fundamental tandem mass spectrometry techniques to discover possible relationships between collision-induced fragmentation energies and specific properties of explosives, and how solvent interactions influence ionization efficiency thus affecting detection limits of explosives;
  • To aid in the examination of the growth to detonation vs. the attenuation at a small scale, we are developing a new way to measure shock/detonation velocities using unique embedded velocity probes; and
  • Due to the difficulty of the task, we have solicited other groups to join us (see projects R1-A.2, 1-B.2, and a funded project with LANL).
This program is much needed to help agencies like the FBI decide what formulations make sense and what don’t in the area of bomb making.
Biannual Review, December 2015
Project Leader
  • Jimmie Oxley
    Professor
    University of Rhode Island
    Email

  • Jim Smith
    Professor
    URI
    Email

Students Currently Involved in Project
  • Ryan Rettinger
    URI
  • Matt Porter
    URI
  • Devon Swanson
    URI
  • Tailor Busbee
    URI
  • Maria Donnelly
    URI
  • Jon Canino
    URI