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Encyclopedia > Slapper detonator

A slapper detonator is a relatively recent kind of a detonator developed in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It is an improvement of the earlier exploding-bridgewire detonator; instead of directly coupling the shock wave from the exploding wire, the expanding plasma from an explosion of a metal foil drives another thin plastic or metal foil called a "flyer" or a "slapper" across a gap, and its high-velocity impact on the explosive (eg. hexanitrostilbene) then delivers the energy and shock needed to initiate a detonation. Normally all the slapper's kinetic energy is supplied only by the heating (and hence expansion) of the plasma (the former foil) by the current passing through it, though constructions with a "back strap" to further drive the plasma forward by magnetic field exist too. This assembly is quite efficient, up to 30% of the electrical energy can be converted to slapper's kinetic energy. A detonator a. ... Aerial view of the lab and surrounding area. ... The exploding-bridgewire detonator (EBW, also known as exploding wire detonator) was invented by Luis Alvarez and Lawrence Johnston for the Fat Man-type bombs of the Manhattan Project, during their work in Los Alamos National Laboratory. ... This article is concerned solely with chemical explosives. ... A weapons cache is detonated at the East River Range on Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan Detonation is a process of supersonic combustion that involves a shock wave and a reaction zone behind it. ... The word plasma has a Greek root which means to be formed or molded (the word plastic shares this root). ... Current flowing through a wire produces a magnetic field (M) around the wire. ...


The initial explosion is usually caused by explosive vaporization of a thin metal wire or strip, by driving several thousands amperes of electric current through it, usually from a capacitor charged to several thousands volts. The switching may be done by a spark gap or a krytron. Various types of capacitors A capacitor (occasionally referred to using the older term condenser) is a device that stores energy in the electric field created between a pair of conductors on which equal but opposite electric charges have been placed. ... A spark plug. ... Krytron is one of the earliest developments of the EG&G Corporation. ...


Usually the construction consists of an explosive booster pellet, to which a disk with a hole in the center is set against. Over the other side of the disk, there is a layer of an insulating film, eg. Kapton or mylar, with a thin strip of metal (typ. aluminum or gold) foil deposited on its outer side. A narrowed section of the metal then explosively vaporizes when a current pulse passes through it, which shears the mylar foil and the plasma ball pushes it through the hole, accelerating it to very high speed. The impact then detonates the explosive pellet. The advantage over explosive-bridge is that the foil does not come in contact with the explosive (so there is no chance of reacting together and creating shock-sensitive compounds, or of corrosion of the thin metal strip), the energy to fire the detonator is quite low, the explosive can be pressed to higher density, and even very insensitive explosives can be initiated. An explosive booster acts as a bridge between a low energy explosive and a low sensitivity (but typically high energy) explosive. ... Kapton is a polyimide film developed by DuPont which can remain stable in a wide range of temperatures, from -269°C to 400°C. Kapton is used in, among other things, flexible printed circuits and spacesuits. ... Mylar is a trade name of DuPont Teijin Films of Hopewell, VA for biaxially-oriented polyethylene terephthalate (BOPET) polyester film used for its high tensile strength, chemical and dimensional stability, transparency, and electrical insulation. ...


In a variant called laser detonator the vaporization can be caused by a high-power laser pulse delivered over-the-air or coupled by an optical fiber; this is reportedly used as a safety detonator in some mining operations and quarries. Typically a 1-watt solid-state laser is used. Laser (US Air Force) A laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a device which uses a quantum mechanical effect, stimulated emission, to generate a coherent beam of light from a lasing medium of controlled purity, size, and shape. ... Optical fibers An optical fiber is a transparent thin fiber, usually made of glass, for transmitting light. ... The El Chino Mine located near Silver City, New Mexico is an open-pit copper mine Mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth, usually (but not always) from an ore body, vein, or (coal) seam. ... A small cinder quarry A dimension stone quarry A quarry is a type of open-pit mine from which rock or minerals are extracted. ... The following is a list of laser types, their operational wavelengths, and their applications. ...


The slapper detonators are frequently used in modern weapon designs and aerospace technology.


For the description of the required firing system, see Firing system for exploding-bridgewire detonator. The exploding-bridgewire detonator (EBW, also known as exploding wire detonator) was invented by Luis Alvarez and Lawrence Johnston for the Fat Man-type bombs of the Manhattan Project, during their work in Los Alamos National Laboratory. ...


See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
Slapper detonator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (320 words)
A slapper detonator is a relatively recent kind of a detonator developed in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Normally all the slapper's kinetic energy is supplied only by the heating (and hence expansion) of the plasma (the former foil) by the current passing through it, though constructions with a "back strap" to further drive the plasma forward by magnetic field exist too.
In a variant called laser detonator the vaporization can be caused by a high-power laser pulse delivered over-the-air or coupled by an optical fiber; this is reportedly used as a safety detonator in some mining operations and quarries.
Detonator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (460 words)
Another form of detonator used in the commercial sector is that of the capped fuse which is a length of safety fuse to which an ordinary detonator has been crimped.
Old detonators used mercury fulminate as the primary, and it was often mixed with potassium chlorate to yield better performance.
A new development is a slapper detonator, which uses thin plates accelerated by an electrically exploded wire or foil to deliver the initial shock.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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