The Effect on Mortars of Explosions within Them

K. L. Kosanke and L. Weinman

An earlier article[1] that appeared a little over a year ago discussed one type of mortar bursting explosion. The article described a process whereby a sufficiently powerful explosion occurring internally near the muzzle of a high density polyethylene (HDPE) mortar would not only burst the top of the mortar, but could also burst the plugged end of the mortar, frequently leaving the middle section of the mortar fully intact. Since publishing that article, readers posed two questions: 1) do the conclusions of the earlier article apply equally to explosions occurring near the plugged end of mortars; and 2) do the conclusions of the earlier article apply equally to mortars made of other materials. The simple answers to the two questions are no and yes, respectively. However, before addressing these two questions, the current article will very briefly summarize the observations made in the earlier article.

Ref: Selected Pyrotechnic Publication of K.L. and B.J Kosanke, Part 7, (2003-2004), pp 142-144

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