Combustion and Flame, Vol.213, 268-278, 2020
Cookoff experiments of a melt cast explosive (Comp-B3)
Validated models of melt cast explosives exposed to accidental fires are essential for safety analysis. In the current work, we provide several experiments that can be used to develop and validate cookoff models of melt cast explosives such as Comp-B3 composed of 60:40 wt% RDX:TNT. We present several vented and sealed experiments from 2.5 mg to 4.2 kg of Comp-B3 in several configurations. We measured pressure, spatial temperature, and ignition time. Some experiments included borescope images obtained during both vented and sealed decomposition. We observed the TNT melt, the suspension of RDX particles in the melt, bubble formation caused by RDX decomposition, and bubble-induced mixing of the suspension. The RDX suspension did not completely dissolve, even as temperatures approached ignition. Our results contrast with published measurements of RDX solubility in hot TNT that suggest RDX would be completely dissolved at these high temperatures. These different observations are attributed to sample purity. We did not observe significant movement of the two-phase mixture until decomposition gases formed bubbles. Bubble generation was inhibited in our sealed experiments and suppressed mixing. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Combustion Institute.