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Author: Subject: Thermobaric explosives
Sauron
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[*] posted on 12-9-2007 at 09:37


The Russian general on television was not quoted as comparing his new toy to a TACTICAL nuke. Besides those artillery launched devices are mostly ERWs anyway that were designed to kill tank crews.

No, he compared his FAE to a NUKE and clearly intended his audience (the great unwashed) to think of something from Hiroshima/Nagasaki size (8-12 KILOtons) to thermonuclear strategic (20-100 MEGAtons or more) Hence 3-7 orders of magnitude.

Clearly his remark was intended to intimidate his audience. It was propaganda and it was deceptive.

[Edited on 13-9-2007 by Sauron]
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[*] posted on 12-9-2007 at 10:38


You can't make too little of this considering its capability. Knocking down masonry is
a first for this type of ordnance. It also fits within a Backfire bomber so it is compact.
Reniniscent of BLU-82 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLU-82 which has always been
compared to the effects of atom bombs in its more limited area of devastation , and
the GBU-43 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GBU-43_Massive_Ordnance_Air_Bla...
which is also shown in action in this video for comparison . - Click image for video -

[IMG]http://www.reuters.com/resources/r/?m=02&d=20070912&t=2&i=1702594&w=r=2007-09-12T153602Z_01_L11559523_RTRUKOP_0_PICTURE0[/IMG]
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Sauron
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[*] posted on 12-9-2007 at 10:41


Maybe the Kremlin plans to bomb Georgia (their Georgia not ours) as the Georgians say they already did a few weeks ago. Or Chechnya. Certainly they don'w want to get back into an expensive arms race with us! not when most of their troops haven't had a paycheck in some time, neither have their academics.

Sure they are tee'd off about the missile defense initiative, but they aren't going to provoke us into cutting off all the aid we have been giving them over that. A little saber rattling like this, fine, Putin will calm down and Bush won't be in office much longer. What's to worry?

I spent many years in Washington reading annual Pentagon reports on the Soviet military, so I am sure the USAF will be asking for more RDT&E budget because of this new Russian toy. Yawn.
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[*] posted on 12-9-2007 at 10:46


yes indeed YAWN!

you are a man with a finger in EVERY single pie on the planet, that is quite evident from you speeches.

now back to Reality, yes it Comparable to a tactical "battle field" NUKE (if you want to put it in caps as you did).

[Edited on 12-9-2007 by YT2095]




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Sauron
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[*] posted on 12-9-2007 at 11:05


To be specific about realities, I lived in Arlington and Alexandria Virginia, just across the river from DC, and close to the Pentagon, throughout the Reagan years and was a defense consultant, contributing editor for a major defense journal, and writer and lecturer to conferences of the American Defense Preparedness Association (formerly American Ordnance Association) and the International Strategic Studies Association. I was a regular faculty member of the annual STRATEGY Conferences in Washington throughout that period, and also at more specialized conferences such as the Special Operations one at Artillery Hall, London 1986. I relocated to Thailand in 1989 and assumed the post of ASEAN Bureau Chief for a DC-based defense-intelligence newsletter that covers the Islamic world, a position I still hold, that makes me responsible for ten nations with a combined population of about half a billion.

There's a book on the ftp site with my photo on the front cover, and I'm not the one who uploaded it, either.

So, sirrah, since you choose to be a sarcastic SOB, kindly recite your last thirty odd years.

Or does modesty prevent you from describing your meteoric rise as a British defense intellectual?

Some of us have been there and done that, son. Don't ridicule someone about whom you know approximately nothing. You'll lose.


[Edited on 13-9-2007 by Sauron]
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[*] posted on 12-9-2007 at 13:22


Here's the episode that was shown on Russian First Chanel yesterday (the same is on YouTube, but this has better quality)
Here is original video (15 Mbytes)

http://rapidshare.com/files/54994339/FOAB_TVRip_.avi.html

Here is English subtittles I've tried to make:

http://rapidshare.com/files/55239093/FOAB_TVRip_.srt.html

PS. This bomb is probably like large barrel with paraсhute, MOAB has it's own navigation system... That's why FOAB is probably relatively "cheap".
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[*] posted on 14-9-2007 at 07:44


Quote:
Originally posted by Axt

MOAB is an aluminised HE thermobaric, composition H6 which is 29.5% TNT, 44% RDX, 21% Al (remainder being inerts), whereas the russian bomb is a true FAE.
[Edited on 13-9-2007 by Axt]


Axt, I thought the MOAB just a normal explosive? I've never heard anything of a thermobaric MOAB. It produces a massive air blast because it detonates just directly above the target.

The daisy cutter is another story. Contrary to some published claims, it most certainly is not an Ethylene-Oxide Fuel-Air Explosive (FAE). Some initial reports had stated that this replacement for the BLU-82 bomb uses more of the slurry of ammonium nitrate and powdered aluminum used in the BLU-82. Other reports indicated that the MOAB might use tritonal explosive as opposed to the gelled slurry explosive of the BLU-82. Contrary to some reports, it is not capable of deep ground penetration.



The only FAEs in the American arsenal is probably the Hellfire thermobaric, the SMAW-NE. More on the MOAB: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aBfOOo-n5k

[Edited on 14-9-2007 by tito-o-mac]

[Edited on 14-9-2007 by tito-o-mac]
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Axt
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[*] posted on 14-9-2007 at 10:39


<a href="http://www.fas.org/man/dod-101/sys/smart/moab.pdf">US airforce report</a> mentions H6 being used in MOAB, and an <a href="http://dspace.dsto.defence.gov.au/dspace/bitstream/1947/3621/1/DSTO-TN-0049%20PR.pdf">Australian military report</a> gives its composition as I stated. Its in full -

TNT 29.5%
Aluminium 21.0%
RDX & Nitrocellulose (RDX usually Grade B) 44.0%
Calcium Chloride 0.5%
Wax 5.0%

Theres no hard definition as to what constitutes a "thermobaric" weapon other then being a funky term for an explosive enhanced for heat and pressure. With 21% it may be a bit light on Al, call it an enhanced blast explosive if you want a more general term. This is the Talley definition-

<u>Thermobaric Compositions</u>
• Thermobaric Compositions are Fuel Rich High Explosives that are Enhanced through Aerobic Combustion in the Third Detonation Event
– Performance Enhancement Primarily Achieved by Addition of
Excess Metals to Explosive Composition
• Aluminum and Magnesium are Primary Metals of Choice
– Third Event Enhanced by Aerobic Combustion of Fuel Rich
Species in Shock Front, ie:
• 4Al + 3O2 ==> 2Al2O3
• 2Mg + O2 ==> 2MgO
• 2H2 + O2 ==> 2H2O
• 2CO + O2 ==> 2CO2
• Thermobaric Compositions are a Hybrid Explosive Composition having
the Characteristics of both a High Explosive and a Fuel/Air Explosive
– Compositions are Generally Detonable
• Talley is Currently Working on a High Heat Output Formulation
that may result in a non-detonable “Thermobaric” Composition
– Compositions may be Liquid or Solid
• Original Russian Formulations were Liquid
• More Recent US Formulations are Solid
– Compositions are Generally Less Sensitive than Classical High Explosives
• Highly Metallized Standard High Explosives meet the Definition of a Thermobaric Composition

[Edited on 15-9-2007 by Axt]
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[*] posted on 26-9-2007 at 13:00


The SMAW-NE and the hellfire are not FAE warheads. They are thermobaric designs- no gases or liquid fuels are used.
More sabre rattling- very likely. They have also re-started their strategic bomber flights around places like Norway.
H-6 is used in things like cratering charges or SAM warheads for it's enhanced blast effect. In that way, it could be considered thermobaric, but, no government uses it in anything that they label as thermobaric. All the new fills called that have around 25-30% aluminum in them.
I remember during his first term, Bush mentioned wanting to re-arm the nuclear force with smaller (kinder friendlier) nuclear weapons. Ones capable of finding use in low-intensity conflict. Of course, almost everyone went crazy over it being nuclear. Perhaps these MOAB/FOAB type of weapons are the new, politically acceptable deterrent for countries we would prefer to nuke, but can't because of the world's opinion. If Soviet Georgia had been hit with this type of weapon, it would have shown up on satellite recon, and the story would have been published in the U.S.
It will be interesting to see what the russian model is filled with. Info will leak out over time. Stay tuned.
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[*] posted on 26-9-2007 at 13:57


Naming specific compositions of the handful of militarilly applicable explosive compounds
serves to make them mnemonically distinguishable from one another. The only difference
is how much of each ingredient is present in the recipe for that ordnance item. H 6 ,
Torpex , H B X , and some others I probably am overlooking , are all made up of R D X and
T N T blends enhanced with Aluminum. The original high heat effect explosive was Tritonal
( not Tritonol ) T N T mixed with Aluminum. This I guess fell out of favor because better
explosions ( more brisant ) result from those presently utilized.


http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=4080&a...

Thermobaric Fuel Additives
Metal and High Energy Non-Metal Fuel Additives
• Boron, Aluminum, and Hydrocarbons Provide Highest Practical
Fuel Energy Density Based on Mass and Volume

Fuel Additive Hcomb (cal/g) Hcomb (cal/cc)
Boron . . . . . . . . . . .13,970 . . . . . . . .33,100
Aluminum . . . . . . . . 7,560 . . . . . . . .20,410
Titanium . . . . . . . . . 4,260 . . . . . . . .19,130
Zirconium . . . . . . . . 2,880 . . . . . . . .18,390
Silicon . . . . . . . . . . . 7,320 . . . . . . . .17,720
Carbon * . . . . . . . . . 7,840 . . . . . . . .13,820
Magnesium . . . . . . . 6,020 . . . . . . . .10,530
Hydrocarbons * . . . 10,000 . . . . . . . . 9,000

* Assumes combustion to CO2.

Kerosene 43 MJ/kg
Methane 50 MJ/kg
Hydrogen 120 MJ/kg

.
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[*] posted on 28-3-2008 at 06:28


Quote:
Originally posted by Boomer
He's an idiot. It's just a primary (-151% OB!) diluted with an inert that happens to be flammable. Like dynamite with twice as much wood pulp. It would not even detonate if it was no primary.

Plus, he seems to use it like a fun snap (torpedo), there must have been some ball bearings or stones in that wrap-up to explode on impact. About as unsafe as it can get.... :mad:


Offcourse it was a dangerous experiment. But still its a thermobaric device. No visible carbon dust. And afterburning of the fuel as visible in the slow motion of the video.
Compare with the det. of TNT giving a black carbon cloud.
It would be interesting to put an Al-rich high explosive in the centre of a can full with carbon powder. If enough Al is inmixed the rest heat will set off the carbon than its mixed with air.
W
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[*] posted on 3-4-2008 at 12:35


Carbon powders have been tested (Talley defense systems ran the test), but were found to have lower levels of energy than powdered metals. The biggest problem is getting the cloud of metal powder to expand from the explosion of a central bursting charge, while still retaining enough heat to ignite once it reaches enough oxygen to react with. Unless something is added to the powdered Al, it will cool itself as the cloud expands, and it will be wasted. Monopropellant liquids and flourine compounds are used as binders to sensitize the Al in most designs.
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[*] posted on 4-4-2008 at 03:49


Quote:
Originally posted by E-tech
Carbon powders have been tested (Talley defense systems ran the test), but were found to have lower levels of energy than powdered metals. The biggest problem is getting the cloud of metal powder to expand from the explosion of a central bursting charge, while still retaining enough heat to ignite once it reaches enough oxygen to react with. Unless something is added to the powdered Al, it will cool itself as the cloud expands, and it will be wasted. Monopropellant liquids and flourine compounds are used as binders to sensitize the Al in most designs.


Al reacts with H20 and N2 created under the detonationprocess, oxygen is not necesarry at all. Its probably better to have more metal in the edges of the explosive matrix to have a good VoD in the center helping the metal inmixed composition to detonate with an higher VoD. Even if the mix is thermobaric its energy per time that matters. And the main point with thermobaric is to overfuel the charges to get more energy out.
Offcourse metals give more energy but if you dont have a clever method of producing fine metal powder or a lot of money to buy these you may want to use sheep carbon.
I think that metal together with carbon can work.
I saw the Talley shit and is not impressed.
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[*] posted on 8-4-2008 at 20:26


True- oxygen isn't required, and N2 will react just as well, but, a truly better result can be had with Fluorine based compounds.
Overfueling the charge is nowhere near enough. That would only provide an increase in the levels of heat (do a search on the "la mon massacre" in Ireland- 1.5lbs of semtex launched 4-5gal of petrol into a crowded restaraunt- nasty). The main point with thermobaric charges is to overfuel at a time that extends the pressure impulse on the target. Tailoring the size of the charge, and the size of the Al particles, so they ignite at the right time, is not so easy. The size of the Al particles, and the overall charge size, the thickness and materials of the warhead casing, smong others, all fit into the design. Overfueling the charge will make a blast-incendiary device- designing it properly will create a true thermobaric.
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[*] posted on 10-4-2008 at 11:15


Quote:
Originally posted by E-tech
True- oxygen isn't required, and N2 will react just as well, but, a truly better result can be had with Fluorine based compounds.
Overfueling the charge is nowhere near enough. That would only provide an increase in the levels of heat (do a search on the "la mon massacre" in Ireland- 1.5lbs of semtex launched 4-5gal of petrol into a crowded restaraunt- nasty). The main point with thermobaric charges is to overfuel at a time that extends the pressure impulse on the target. Tailoring the size of the charge, and the size of the Al particles, so they ignite at the right time, is not so easy. The size of the Al particles, and the overall charge size, the thickness and materials of the warhead casing, smong others, all fit into the design. Overfueling the charge will make a blast-incendiary device- designing it properly will create a true thermobaric.


Al and Mg will be into the reaction directly after the detonation of the thermobaric mixture than the H20 and N2 will start to react with the metal, the size of the particles affect the time of this process. The ignition of the active metal than proceed in the atmospere.
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[*] posted on 14-7-2008 at 18:32


Yesterday I dreamed in synthesizing some booster charges with a decent termobaric power and a generous shelf life (store at least 2 years?) in plasticized cylindrical forms.

I discarted RDX for the laborious of their optimal sinth (acid distillation/purification, elimination NOxx, etc..) and because I find easier PETN and/or ETN. I have left little PETN and what I have without problems is ETN. Then I have thought the following thing...


Pure ETN(71%) + Pure PETN(6%) + AL(12%) (in thinnest invaluable powder) + Diphenylamine(1%) + Styrene Butadiene Rubber(10%).


What do you think ? would you adjust the proportions in some other (optimal) way ? ;)
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[*] posted on 14-7-2008 at 19:56


Quote:
Originally posted by legnanu
Yesterday I dreamed in synthesizing some booster charges with a decent termobaric power and a generous shelf life (store at least 2 years?) in plasticized cylindrical forms.

I discarted RDX for the laborious of their optimal sinth (acid distillation/purification, elimination NOxx, etc..) and because I find easier PETN and/or ETN. I have left little PETN and what I have without problems is ETN. Then I have thought the following thing...


Pure ETN(71%) + Pure PETN(6%) + AL(12%) (in thinnest invaluable powder) + Diphenylamine(1%) + Styrene Butadiene Rubber(10%).


What do you think ? would you adjust the proportions in some other (optimal) way ? ;)


ETN isn’t a favorite for storage--its quite shock sensitive and tends to breakdown significantly faster than PETN; as such, I'd put the shelf life that mixture at 3-6 months. Provided that they’re very stable shelves.




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legnanu
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[*] posted on 15-7-2008 at 03:08


In spite of it, what do you think of the possible explosive properties?
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[*] posted on 13-10-2012 at 09:27


Quote: Originally posted by E-tech  
There are no single-component thermobaric explosives, they are all mixes using Al, or fuels surrounding the charge. The isopropyl nitrate is used as an energetic binder to insure that all the aluminum fuel is consumed; It won't do much on it's own as far as thermobaric effects are concerned.
In other news- the Russians have another thermobaric mix that does use AN. It also includes Al and isopropyl nitrate, but the exact mix is not known. Military Parade Publishing (a Russian arms catalog they print) has pics of what is sold as a thermobaric submunition; it is said to hold 22 pounds of the mix. It looks like they are forgoing the weight/volume efficiency of explosives like HMX in order to obtain better far-field effects. The submunition looks like a coffee can on a parachute- still wouldn't like to get caught in a field of them, though.
I've worked with small (100gram) charges of RDX explosives with a thermite surround, and found the effects to be noticably different; materials pushed farther away and scorched whereas the no surround charge barely moved the objects around it. I haven't had a chance to test the really noticable (by the US military) effect of the thermobaric charge- the ability to go around corners. During one of it's first few tests, the BLU-118/B was found to be capable of sending it's blast/heat waves around a horshoe- shaped bend in a test tunnel complex in the Nevada desert. It's likely nothing more than a heat-driven pressure spike, but the ability to control or "bounce" a blast wave around a corner sounds like a nice challenge, especially once you get "mach stem" effects mastered. Thanks for the -135 mix. Where did you find it?



Compatibility Of Thermobaric Mixtures Based On Isopropyl Nitrate And Metal Powders
Interesting paper for the wealth of information provided on Isopropyl Nitrate
http://www.vti.mod.gov.rs/ntp/rad2004/34-04/terz/terz.pdf
Related thread http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=14492

" The isopropyl nitrate is used as an energetic binder to insure that all the aluminum fuel is consumed "
- or rather promotes ignition of the Aluminum it coats.

" Russians have another thermobaric mix that does use AN.
It also includes Al and isopropyl nitrate, but the exact mix is not known.
"
- Applied chemistry can resolve the question since it can't be too far from stoichiometric proportions.

2 C3H7NO3 + 7 NH4NO3 + 14 Al => 7 Al2O3 + 6 CO + 8 N2 + 21 H2
. . . . I P N . . . . . . . . .A N . . . . . . . . |
. . . . . .9 . . . . . . . . . . .2 5 . . . . . . . 1 6 . . . parts by weight

The procedure would be to mix Aluminum into Isopropyl Nitrate then mix with Ammonium Nitrate.
The materials are very shock insensitive so a propellant could be applied for dispersal and a delay
high order booster would detonate the aerosol. See _
http://www.reuters.com/resources/flash/embedvideo.swf?editio...

________________________________________________


Related threads
http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=7762

http://www.sciencemadness.org/talk/viewthread.php?tid=21691



[Edited on 13-10-2012 by franklyn]
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[*] posted on 16-10-2012 at 10:18


I mistook the mixture as an FAE rather than Thermobaric ( topic of this thread )
In the latter case the amount of ammonium nitrate can be much less serving to
disperse the remainder of unburned fuel in a manner similar to a BLEVE.

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[*] posted on 1-4-2014 at 03:47


http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2012IMEM/13879ervin8B.pdf

Does anyone know the composition of this thermobaric mixture? I would guess it'd be around 70-75% RDX/PETN and 20-25% Al powder and rest are binders..
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[*] posted on 1-4-2014 at 05:26


Quote: Originally posted by Refinery  
http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2012IMEM/13879ervin8B.pdf

Does anyone know the composition of this thermobaric mixture? I would guess it'd be around 70-75% RDX/PETN and 20-25% Al powder and rest are binders..


PBXIH-18 is an HMX/Al based thermobaric explosive. The binder is an acrylic acid ester called HyTemp plasticized with Dioctyl adipate (DOA).

PBXIH-18: HMW/Al/HyTemp/DOA. The density is 1.91 g/cm3.

see Table 1 page 5 in this conference paper:

http://www.dtic.mil/ndia/2004guns/thurs/rockets/johnson.pdf

Dany.
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[*] posted on 20-10-2014 at 11:28
NM explosive Thermobaric?


We had a discussion about definition today. One stated a amine sensitised nitromethane explosive would have thermobaric characteristics in my opinion this is only the case with addition of AL.

Any thoughts on this?




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[*] posted on 20-10-2014 at 15:47


Quote: Originally posted by Melmoth  
We had a discussion about definition today. One stated a amine sensitised nitromethane explosive would have thermobaric characteristics in my opinion this is only the case with addition of AL.

Any thoughts on this?


Nitromethane is a high gas volume high explosive, and would produce a relatively strong air blast compared to TNT-type traditional military explosives.

But it is definitely not any kind of thermobaric explosive, which specifically refers to excess high energy metal particles that burn in air to create some combination of high temperatures and/or long low pressure blast against soft targets (designs differ on which is emphasized).
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