The effort invested in improving our understanding of the physics of high-energy explosion events has been steadily increasing since the latter part of the twentieth century. Moreover, the dramatic increase in computer power over the last two decades has made the numerical simulation approach the dominant tool for investigating blast phenomena and their effects. However, field tests, on both large and small scales, are still in use. In the current paper, we present an experimental tool to better resolve and study the blast-structure interaction phenomenon and to help validate the numerical simulations of the same. The experimental tool uses an exploding wire technique to generate small-scale cylindrical and spherical blast waves. This approach permits safe operation, high repeatability, and the use of advanced diagnostic systems. The system was calibrated using an analytical model, an empirical model, and numerical simulation. To insure that spherical blast geometry was achieved, a set of free air blast experiments was done in which high-speed photography was used to monitor the blast structure. A scenario in which an explosion occurred in the vicinity of a structure demonstrated the system's capabilities. Using this simple but not trivial configuration showed unequivocally the effectiveness of this tool. From this comparison, it was found that at early times of blast-structure interaction, the agreement between the two sets of results was very good, but at later times incongruences appeared. Effort has been made to interpret this observation. Furthermore, by using similitude analysis, the results obtained from the small-scale experiments can be applied to the full-scale problem. We have shown that an exploding wire system offers an inexpensive, safe, easy to operate, and effective tool for studying phenomena related to blast-wave-structure interactions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Computational Mechanics
- Mechanics of Materials
- General Physics and Astronomy
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes