Small-scale blast wave experiments by means of an exploding wire

Oren Sadot, Omri Ram, Eliram Nof, Eytan Kochavi, Gabi Ben-Dor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The effort invested in improving our understanding of the physics of high energy explosion events has tremendously increased in the past few decades. Moreover, the dramatic increase in computer capabilities over the last two decades made the numerical simulation approach the dominant tool for investigating blast wave related phenomena and their effects. However, both large- and small-scale field tests are still in use. In the following, we present an experimental tool capable of better resolving and studying the blast–structure interaction phenomenon. In addition, this experimental tool can assist in validating numerical simulations of these phenomena prior to applying them to simulate large-scale events. 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 usage of advanced diagnostic systems that cannot be used in large-scale field experiments. The system was calibrated using an analytical model, an empirical model, and a numerical simulation. To ensure that spherical blast geometry was achieved, a set of free air blast experiments in which high-speed photography was used to monitor the blast wave structure was conducted. Furthermore, by using similitude analysis the results obtained from small-scale experiments can be applied to full-scale problems. It has been clearly shown that an exploding wire system offers an inexpensive, repeatable, safe, easy to operate, and effective experimental tool for studying phenomena involving blast–structure interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationBlast Effects
Subtitle of host publicationPhysical properties of shock waves
EditorsIsabelle Sochet
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-70831-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-70829-4
StatePublished - 2018

Publication series

NameShock Wave and High Pressure Phenomena
ISSN (Print)2197-9529
ISSN (Electronic)2197-9537


  • Blast waves
  • Small-scale explosions
  • Exploding wire


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