Saturday, December 22, 2007

Weekend history post

The sheer quantity of explosive that was lying around in dumps and caches in Iraq after the fall of Saddam can be grasped by watching links to demolition video. Here for example, is the destruction of 429 tons of exlosive. A somewhat closer view of 100 tons being detonated in 2006 shown below illustrates just how dangerous and violent these explosions can be. Note the shockwave advancing toward the camera and listen to the rain of debris.


Blogger RWE said...

As far as the area surrounding an explosion, the most lethal effects are produced by high speed fragments. Obviously, this is why anti-personnel munitions deliberately create such fragments. But the area endangered by such fragments is rather small.

Debris blown high in the air is another hazard, but is not that much of a problem unless it is heavy or large, such as chunks of concrete, rocket bodies, or engines.

Flaming debris acting as firebrands is another problem if it hits something flammable. Solid rocket propellant is especially bad in this regard, because it has the ingredients of fuel and oxidizer but is designed to burn rapidly in a proper pressure chamber but will burn for a long time at a high temperature once out in the open. You can see some of this kind of effect from the smoke trails arcing out from the blast. You should see what it looks like when a Titan or Delta booster blows up.

The shock wave covers a large area but is by itself hazardous for a fairly limited range. The biggest problem is due to materials – especially glass – shattered by the shock wave and thrown into victims. The absolute worst place to be when a large shock wave hits is to be in front of an ordinary glass window. Tempered glass is much better and film covered glass with properly anchored sides even better. Walls and roofs falling down as result of the shockwave are the next problem after glass. You can be killed by the building you are in at ranges from the shockwave that would produce no more than a mild discomfort if you were outside.

I think I will plug “429 tons of HE “ into our company’s explosion analysis program and see what I get…

12/22/2007 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...

C'mon, wretchard.

Tell us more about Senator Raul Manglapus.

Give us a real weekend history post.

12/22/2007 10:46:00 PM  
Blogger Cannoneer No. 4 said...




Best one I ever saw made a mushroom cloud you had to look up to from two miles away, with rockets spinning out of the cloud.
Down at the Bazaar they didn't hear the Giant Voice and they all freaked when it went off.

12/22/2007 11:03:00 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Gary Schroen's "First In" includes a few first person descriptions of being near explosions, 500 and 2,000 pounders. The best is from guys who were 3,000 yards away from a Taliban position south of Mazar-i-Sharif (p. 354) that caught a BLU-82, a 15,000 pound bomb. A guy named R.J. is lying face down behind a rock outcrop, on a rise overlooking the explosion: "He was shoved violently backward off the rock, hitting on his heels and slamming over backward to bang and bounce off the hard-packed dirt."

He was 3,000 yards back!

12/26/2007 01:36:00 PM  

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