The Effect of Detonator Strength on the Initiation of Small Diameter Emulsion Explosives

Kennedy M, ; Kerr I D,
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 10
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1990
Flash X-radiographs were obtained of commercial electric No 6 and No 8* strength aluminium tube detonators in small-diameter cartridges of emulsion explosive at various times after fusehead operation. The trigger system for the radiography was based on the detection of light following fusehead firing via optical fibres inserted into the fusehead cavity during detonator assembly. These experiments were simulated using a finite element hydrocode with realistic treatment of the non-ideal reaction kinetics. Excellent agreement was demonstrated for the shape and position of the shock waves. In both cases, initiation of the emulsion was predominantly forward from the detonator. For the No 8* strength detonator, this initiation resulted from the shockwave delivered through the sides of the detonator, while for the No 6 strength detonator, initiation was the result of a complex interaction between shockwaves originating both from the sides and from the endcap. In the reverse direction (towards the crimped end of the detonators), initiation was only weakly dependent on detonator strength, being controlled mainly by the competing processes of rarefaction from the cartridge boundaries and comer turning of the detonation wave from the forward initiation. The consequences for field performance of small-diameter emulsions will be discussed.
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