Expansion of the detonation products of lead azide via a supersonic nozzle

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3 Scopus citations


The cloud of products formed following the detonation of lead azide (LA) contains gaseous species and solid particles. The dynamics of the detonation products expanding freely or through a supersonic nozzle into vacuum is unraveled via the temporal profiles of the pressure, the emission from Pb atoms and the attenuation of a He-Ne beam. The velocity of the fastest gaseous species is found from the onset of the pressure rise and the emission at a given distance from the LA sample, and the velocity of the fastest solid particles from the attenuation. In the free expansion, the respective velocities are 4.5±0.1 and 3.8±0.2 km/s and in the nozzle expansion 5.1±0.2 and 1.4±0.2 km/s. The expansion into atmospheric pressure air is also monitored and found to be much slower than that into vacuum. The utilization of nozzles as a means for obtaining a particle free, transparent medium of detonation products is stressed in the context of exploiting explosives for achieving chemical lasers in the visible wavelength region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-14
Number of pages4
JournalShock Waves
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jul 1994


  • Expansion of detonation products
  • Lead azide
  • Supersonic nozzle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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