Effect of the Ratio of Charge Mass to Target Mass on Measured Impulse

  • L. C. Taylor
  • W. G. Szymczak
  • H. U. Leiste
  • W. L. Fourney
Conference paper
Part of the Conference Proceedings of the Society for Experimental Mechanics Series book series (CPSEMS)


A common way to measure the loading on a target above the explosion of a charge buried in soil is to measure the total vertical impulse applied to the target. The impulse is often calculated by multiplying the mass of the target by its maximum velocity. While this seems a reasonable approach, in actuality, the impulse so calculated, depends not only on the actual load applied to the target but also on the ratio of the mass of the target to the mass of the explosive. This paper shows that, if the other conditions of an explosive event are the same, i.e., depth of burial of the charge, height of the target, soil properties, etc., there is a consistent, power law, relationship between the charge to target mass ratio and the measured impulse. In this paper, this relationship is developed to provide a heuristic tool to estimate the impulse that would be measured if the charge or target mass is changed.


Buried charge Target response Target velocity Measured impulse Charge mass 



The data used in this paper were generated in multiple test programs under the sponsorship of many different sponsors over the course of 14 years. They are too numerous to mention by name. Never the less, the authors wish to thank them all. The paper would not have been possible without a large amount of data. We also wish to thank the many under graduate and graduate students who carried out many of the test in the Dynamic Effects Laboratory at the University of Maryland over this time period. Finally, we particularly wish to thank Mr. Collin Pecora of the Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen, MD for making available some relatively recent large scale test data from tests conducted in their VIMF.


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Copyright information

© The Society for Experimental Mechanics, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. C. Taylor
    • 1
  • W. G. Szymczak
    • 2
  • H. U. Leiste
    • 1
  • W. L. Fourney
    • 1
  1. 1.Dynamic Effects Laboratory, University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA
  2. 2.Naval Research LaboratoryWashington, DCUSA

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