Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.81, No.1 (2020)

Research paper

Explosive fragmentation of gallium-embrittled aluminum alloy cylinders
John Joseph Rudolphi, Michael Heister, Weldon Teague, Ed Vieth, and Mark Naro


Liquid metal embrittled (LME) aluminum alloy cylinders were studied to characterize and investigate fragmentation behavior during explosive loading. Localized reductions in material strength, ductility, and toughness are created by the embrittling action of small quantities of gallium applied to aluminum. Aluminum alloy cylinders were packed with Composition C-4 explosive and end-detonated to observe natural fragmentation behavior in representative geometries. A "low" pressure condition was induced in the embrittled material by inserting a polycarbonate buffer between the explosives and inner cylinder wall. Other tests featured the explosives in intimate contact with the cylinder walls to investigate a "high" pressure condition. Results indicated that embrittled aluminum cylinders fragment into significantly smaller particles compared to non-embrittled cylinders at both high and low-pressure conditions. Microstructure analysis indicated intergranular failure in embrittled fragments in contrast to the highly-ductile failure of non-embrittled aluminum alloy. Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International Inc. for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525.

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fragmentation, liquid metal embrittlement

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