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Published July 2005 | Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Fracture response of externally flawed aluminum cylindrical shells under internal gaseous detonation loading


Experiments were performed to observe the fracture behavior of thin-wall and initially-flawed aluminum tubes to internal gaseous detonation loading. The load can be characterized as a propagating pressure jump with speed of 2.4 km/s and magnitude ranging from 2 MPa to 6 MPa, followed by an expansion wave. Flaws were machined as external axial surface notches. Cracks ran both in the upstream and downstream directions as the hoop stress opened up the notch. Different kinds of crack propagation behavior were observed for various loading amplitudes and flaw sizes. For low-amplitude loading and short flaws, cracks tend to run in a helical fashion, whereas for high-amplitude loading and long flaws, cracks tend to bifurcate in addition to running helically. Unless the cracks branched and traveled far enough to meet, resulting in a split tube, they were always arrested. Strain gages were used to monitor the hoop strains at several places on the tubes' external surface. Far from the notch, tensile vibrations were measured with frequencies matching those predicted by the steady-state Tang (1965, Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers 5, 97–122) and Simkins (1987, Technical Report ARCCB-TB-87008, US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, Watervliet, N.Y. 12189–4050) models. Near the notch, compressive strains were recorded as a result of the bulging at the notch. Features in the strain signals corresponding to different fracture events are analyzed.

Additional Information

© 2005 Springer. Received 19 December 2003; Accepted 11 April 2005; Issue Date July 2005. The authors would like to thank Professor W.G. Knauss and Professor G. Ravichandran for their helpful discussions. This research was sponsored in part through the Office of Naval Research (ONR) contract N00014-99-1-0744 and by the US Department of Energy through the Caltech ASCI project. Their support is gratefully acknowledged.

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August 22, 2023
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