Apparatus for skidding sensitivity testing of energetic materials

A. T. Hewitt, R. J. Lee, S. Watkins, J. Brinkman, J. C. Stephens, James C. Dickens, Andreas A. Neuber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A remote-operated apparatus for testing the detonation sensitivity of energetic materials is detailed. Using an air ram and rotating disk, the normal force and transverse velocity of the impact plane are controlled independently, enabling the exploration of varying impact conditions over a wide parameter space. A microcontroller local to the apparatus is used to automate apparatus operation and ensure temporal alignment of the impacting ram head with the rotating disk. Calculation of the firing parameters and issuing of operational commands are handled by a remote computer and relayed to the local microcontroller for execution at the hardware level. Impact forces are taken from fast strain measurements obtained from gauges incorporated into the ram head. Infrared imaging of explosive samples provides insight into the peak thermal temperatures experienced at the sample surface during the impact event.

Original languageEnglish
Article number045101
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021


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