Numerical simulation of a 100-ton ANFO detonation

P. W. Weber, K. K. Millage, J. E. Crepeau, H. J. Happ, Y. Gitterman, C. E. Needham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This work describes the results from a US government-owned hydrocode (SHAMRC, Second-Order Hydrodynamic Automatic Mesh Refinement Code) that simulated an explosive detonation experiment with 100,000 kg of Ammonium Nitrate–Fuel Oil (ANFO) and 2,080 kg of Composition B (CompB). The explosive surface charge was nearly hemispherical and detonated in desert terrain. Two-dimensional axisymmetric (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) simulations were conducted, with the 3D model providing a more accurate representation of the experimental setup geometry. Both 2D and 3D simulations yielded overpressure and impulse waveforms that agreed qualitatively with experiment, including the capture of the secondary shock observed in the experiment. The 2D simulation predicted the primary shock arrival time correctly but secondary shock arrival time was early. The 2D-predicted impulse waveforms agreed very well with the experiment, especially at later calculation times, and prediction of the early part of the impulse waveform (associated with the initial peak) was better quantitatively for 2D compared to 3D. The 3D simulation also predicted the primary shock arrival time correctly, and secondary shock arrival times in 3D were closer to the experiment than in the 2D results. The 3D-predicted impulse waveform had better quantitative agreement than 2D for the later part of the impulse waveform. The results of this numerical study show that SHAMRC may be used reliably to predict phenomena associated with the 100-ton detonation. The ultimate fidelity of the simulations was limited by both computer time and memory. The results obtained provide good accuracy and indicate that the code is well suited to predicting the outcomes of explosive detonations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-140
Number of pages14
JournalShock Waves
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Detonation
  • High explosive
  • Hydrocode
  • Modeling
  • Secondary shock


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