Pressure Environments Created by Wires Exploded in Water

  • J. A. Kersavage
Conference paper


Due to the increasing application of underwater electrical explosions to such fields as metal forming and sonar, the study of the pressures created by such discharges is steadily gaining importance. This paper presents the results of experiments in which a capacitor discharge circuit under various initial conditions was used to explode a 3-in. length of thin wire submerged in fresh water, and the resulting pressure at a particular range was recorded as a function of time using calibrated hydrophones and oscilloscopes. The entire pressure sequence of initial pulse and subsequent bubble pulses is discussed. The effect on the shape and amplitude of the initial pressure pulse of varying discharge circuit conditions such as initial capacitor voltage, total capacitance, and inductance is also presented. Initial capacitor voltages were varied up to 20 kv, and total stored energy in the bank was varied up to 300,000 joules.


Capacitor Bank Initial Pulse Discharge Circuit Initial Voltage Oscilloscope Trace 
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  1. 1.
    L.A. Yutkin, “Electrohydraulic Effect,” State Scientific Press, Leningrad, USSR, 1955.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    R.H. Cole, “Underwater Explosions,” Princeton University Press, 1948.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    E. A. Martin, “The Underwater Spark: An Example of Gaseous Conduction at about 10,000 Atmospheres,” University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 1956.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press New York 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Kersavage
    • 1
  1. 1.Chrysler CorporationDetroitUSA

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