Explosions & Material Fragmentation

Research into explosions includes rock blasting, munitions, and gas/dust explosions.  Material fragmentation includes both waterjet and mechanical cutting of rock or metals.

Featured Research

"Airborne Dust Explosion Evaluation"

Research Investigator: Dr. Catherine Johnson

Many manufacturing processes utilize solid materials, and during processing create finely divided particles commonly referred to as dusts.  Dusts made from combustible solids pose fire and explosioin risks due to their unique ignition and burning characteristics which differ greatly from the parent bulk material.  Dusts have:  a high surface to volume ratio, significant quantities of air interstitially between particles, lower thermal inertia values compared to the parent bulk material, and the capability of being suspended in air.  A funded project, through Consolidated Nuclear Security, is looking at explosibility testing methods to ultimately improve the cost of testing, reduce the quantity of dust required for testing, and a faster turnaround time than the current ASTM standard.

Dr. Catherine Johnson
Dr. Catherine Johnson - Photo by Sam O'Keefe