Experimental Mechanics

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 49–54 | Cite as

Similitude in exploding wires

Similarity conditions for phenomena involving explosion of a wire, shock propagation and inelastic deformation are derived and the theory is supported by experiments in which aluminum diaphragms are permanently deformed
  • C. Wayne Martin


Conditions for similarity have been derived for phenomena involving an exploding wire, propagation of the resulting shock through a fluid, and inelastic deformation or fracture of a structure. This analysis considers the capacitance, voltage and material properties of the exploding wire, as well as the geometry and material properties of the fluid and structure.

Model experiments involving large inelastic deformation of aluminum diaphragms agree well with the theoretical predictions.

Comparison of deformations due to chemical explosives and exploding wires has been made in an effort to establish an ‘equivalence’ between chemical and electrical explosions. The purpose of this is to provide a basis for using small-scale experiments with exploding wires to predict the performance of larger systems using chemical explosives.

The exploding wire appears to provide a precise loading for small-scale structural-model experiments and explosion-forming experiments.


Aluminum Mechanical Engineer Explosive Material Property Model Experiment 
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Copyright information

© Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Wayne Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.Engineering MechanicsUniversity of NebraskaLincoln

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