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by MariShapiro   June 22, 2010 at 11:22AM  |  Views: 895

Science of Explosions

Okay, so I got a lot of responses from the posting of the Military-grade CONWEP explosives software over the last couple of weeks and the main question was: “How do I use it?” So, I’ll give a very brief but complete tutorial here on how it can be used to estimate the mechanics of the shock front.

Step 1: Enter the distance from the explosive to the target in meters in the “Actual Stand-Off Distance” field located under the INPUTS label. Press Enter.

Step 2: Find out the weight of the explosive in Kg you are going to test and enter it in the “Net Explosive Quantity” field of the INPUTS. Press Enter.

Step 3: Find the TNT equivalence figure from the type of explosive you’d like to run the numbers on. It’s amazing what you can find on Google but just in case I have given TNT equivalence of four different types of explosives in the cells just under the label “TNT EQUIVALENCE” at the top of the page.

Step 4: Enter the TNT equivalence value you just found into the “TNT Equivalence Figure” field located under the INPUTS label. Press Enter.

Step 5: Once you press Enter from the last INPUT, the OUTPUTS will change based off the equations from the right hand side of the worksheet entitled “AIRBURST SUB –CALCULATIONS." You can click on the various cells to have a look at the equations that are implemented in getting the OUTPUTS. The numbers under the “Conversions” label also change so you don’t have to convert kPa or m/s yourself.  Now, if your super awesome… you know a little bit about how/when/at what level the body is injured at particular overpressures (eg. five psi – ear drum rupture all the way up to about +100 psi that tends to rip limbs from the body and can be lethal). 

To give you a complete list of Over-pressures vs. Injury matrix would not be scientifically responsible but it’s amazing what you can find on Google these days and some info has been released for public use. So, if you’re really interested in this stuff you can download my published blast article entitled “Blast-Induced Neurotrauma: Surrogate Use, Loading Mechanisms, and Cellular Responses."

Have fun!

--Geoff Desmoulin


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