O-208 Fragmentation From Detonations And Less Violent Munition Responses

August 2019
Martijn van der Voort, Ernest Baker, Christelle Collet
An increasing number of munitions now show less violent responses than detonation in cook off or impact scenarios. The detonation of a warhead typically leads to well reproducible fragmentation effects. Deflagrations and explosions may still rupture the munition casing, but fragmentation is typically limited to just a few large fragments with a relatively low velocity. Fragmentation modelling has evolved significantly with increasingly realistic predictions, even for less violent explosions and deflagrations. 
Although deflagrating warheads produce only a few fragments, these fragments may reach large distances. Conventional safety distances are not well suited for this situation. Estimates of deflagrating warhead fragment trajectories can be done assuming plate-like fragments. For illustration purposes a simple model of Individual and Group Risk was applied to a case study comparing detonating and deflagrating warheads. A risk based approach holds the advantage that also other relevant aspects can be taken into account, such as a lower probability of initiation, the nature of the ammunition activities, population density, and whether exposed persons are related (personnel) or unrelated (third parties).

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Jakob Breiner
Warhead Technology TSO
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Christelle Collet
Propulsion Technology TSO
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Munitions Transport and Storage Safety TSO
United Kingdom
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