Imploding Barrel Initiator

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The U.S. Navy seeks a partner for licensing and collaboration on an imploding barrel initiation device for explosives.

Sensitivity of explosives can be referred to as a degree to which an explosive can be initiated by impact (or shock), heat, or friction. Sensitivity, stability and brisance are three significant properties of explosives that affect subsequent use and application. All explosive compounds have a certain level of energy and power required to initiate. If an explosive is too sensitive, it may go off accidentally. A safer explosive is less sensitive and will not explode if exposed to certain inadvertent conditions, e.g. certain levels of energy in the form of heat, or shock. However, such explosives are more difficult to initiate intentionally--such a difficulty in initiation or detonation can increase as the size of an application gets smaller. High explosives can be conventionally subdivided into two explosives classes, differentiated by sensitivity: Primary explosives are extremely sensitive to mechanical shock, friction, and heat, to which they will respond by burning rapidly or detonating. Secondary explosives are relatively insensitive to shock, friction, and heat and are much less likely to be inadvertently initiated.
Existing initiation systems include hot wire detonators, exploding bridgewire detonators, exploding foil initiator, low energy exploding foil initiator, and ultra-low energy exploding foil initiators. However, these can have unintentional problems such as firing sensitivities due to EM radiation and electro static discharge, insufficient shock to detonate, high cost, inability to detonate a secondary explosive, etc. Thus, various improvements to existing designs are needed to produce desired results such as safety and reliability along with ease of use and cost all at an electrical input energy that is lower along with other needed utility and advantages

NSWC Crane has developed and patented an imploding barrel explosive device that seeks to keep the safety and reliability of an exploding foil initiator with the ease of use and cost of an exploding bridgewire detonator at an electrical input energy that is lower than both. The device includes a metalized barrel with a specific thickness; the barrel is filled with a secondary explosive, having a required diameter with structures that provide efficient transfer/conversion of electrical energy into detonation of the secondary explosive by, among other things, reducing electrical and mechanical/chemical losses. Included in the patent are various methods of design, use, and manufacturing.
Utility Patent
United States
Aug 23, 2016
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