Abstract

The impact of laser-driven flyer plates on energetic materials CL-20, PETN, and TATB has been investigated. Flyer plates composed of 25 μm thick Al were impacted into the energetic materials at velocities up to 1.3 km/s. The flyer plates were accelerated by means of an Nd:YAG laser pulse. The laser pulse generates rapidly expanding plasma between the flyer plate foil and the substrate to which it is adhered. As the plasma grows, a section of the metal foil is ejected at high speed, forming the flyer plate. The velocity of the flyer plate was determined using VISAR, time of flight, and high-speed video. The response of the energetic material to impact was determined by light emission recorded by an infrared-sensitive photodiode. Following post-impact analysis of the impacted energetic material, it was hypothesized that the light emitted by the material after impact is not due to the impact of the flyer itself but rather is caused by the decomposition of energetic material ejected (via the shock of flyer plate impact) into a cloud of hot products generated during the launch of the flyer plate. This hypothesis was confirmed through schlieren imaging of a flyer plate launch, clearly showing the ejection of hot gases and particles from the region surrounding the flyer plate launch and the burning of the ejected energetic material particles.

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