Abstract

Sandia National Laboratories was tasked by the United States Army Recovered Chemical Materiel Directorate with evaluating the fitness of the Transportable Detonation Chamber for use in demilitarization of chemical munitions. The chamber was instrumented with strain, pressure, and acceleration sensors to study its behavior during explosive tests ranging from 1.25 to 20 lb of explosive charge weight. The structural response of the chamber and techniques recommended by the manufacturer — use of water bags and sand-filled walls — were assessed. Through this testing, it was found that the two techniques did not significantly affect the chamber’s response. It was also discovered that the structural integrity of the chamber (and, therefore, its suitability for use with chemical agents) was compromised, as some welds failed. Sandia does not recommend using this vessel for chemical munition demilitarization. This chamber is suitable, however, for demilitarization of conventional munitions, in which fragments and overpressure are the primary concern.

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