Journal Published Online: 01 September 2001
Volume 46, Issue 5

Determining Explosivity Part II: Comparison of Small-Scale Cartridge Tests to Actual Pipe Bombs



The small-scale explosivity device (SSED) has been used to assess the explosive power of a number of low explosives—smokeless powders (WC-870, Red Dot, Bullseye, Winchester Action Pistol, and IMR-PB), Pyrodex, black powder, and an improvised explosive (TATP). The device requires 2 g of energetic material, a heavy-walled containment vessel, and a standard blast shield to permit use in most laboratories. The data from the SSED are compared with the fragmentation of pipe bombs which contained 300 to 700 g of powder. The SSED provided the same relative ordering of explosivity as suggested by the fragmentation of the real devices. In addition, the SSED was used to evaluate the chemical residue remaining after an explosion. Issues in using the device such as optimal detonators and restricted reaction volume were probed using three high explosives—TNT, Tetryl, and RDX.

Author Information

Oxley, JC
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Smith, JL
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Resende, E
University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI
Pages: 6
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS15100J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS15100J