Investigation on Impact Induced Energy Release of Pyrophoric Alloy Fragments Using Time Resolved Emission Spectroscopy

Marina Seidl, Hartmut Borchert, Evaristo Santamaria Ferraro, T. De Vuyst, Norbert Faderl

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Technical advancement in material production open new doors in developing reactive material (RM) compounds that combine structural strength with exothermal energetic characteristics. Utilized to exchange inert materials, such as warhead shells, RM enhance the lethal effects. The warhead is initiated, its RM shrapnel accelerated and impact the secondary targets. Upon impact, an impact induced energy release (IIER) occurs in form of exothermal chemical reaction of the RM on the target material. For a repeatable and comparable results, a dedicated experimental set-up has been developed where single cylindrical RM fragments of a diameter D=5 mm and the same length L (L/D=1) represent the shrapnel. They are ballistically driven at initial velocities vi=1500 m/s, using a 7.62 mm powder gun. The RM fragments consists of Ferrocerium, a pyrophoric commercial alloy. Although, Ferrocerium is not primarily a candidate to replace warhead shells, its IIER is academically very suitable for the development of experimental measurement techniques. In order to understand the chemical reaction and quantify the IIER, two parameters are measured, the light emission and the pressure. Time integrated and time-resolved emission spectra, obtained by a Czerny-Turner spectrograph are discussed in this paper. From the investigated wavelength of the oxidation of lanthanum, a predominant compound of the Ferrocerium RM, temperature can be derived between 2300° and 3000° C. In addition, the RM fragment is launched in a closed chamber with pressure sensors and a pressure measurement is taken simultaneously with the light emission. In order to protect against RM enhanced weaponry, the effects of IIER need to be understood.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings - 32nd International Symposium on Ballistics
EditorsThelma G. Manning, Frederick C. Rickert
Place of PublicationReno, Nevada
PublisherDEStech Publications Inc.
Number of pages12
VolumeVolume 2: Exterior Ballistics, Thermal Ballistics
ISBN (Electronic)9781605956893
ISBN (Print)1605956899
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2023
Event32nd International Symposium on Ballistics, BALLISTICS 2022 - Reno, United States
Duration: 9 May 202213 May 2022


Conference32nd International Symposium on Ballistics, BALLISTICS 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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