Ignitability of Wood From Fragment Attack
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Ignitability of Wood From Fragment Attack

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    The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has been funded by the Department of Defense Ammunition Logistics Agency (AMMOLOG) to develop technology for minimizing the effect of fires or hostile attacks on ammunition holding areas during combat operations. Historically, there are many examples of catastrophic fires and explosions in ammunition holding areas, including a recent example in Kuwait after Operation Desert Storm. These events normally involve a sequence of fires and explosions where each explosion spreads the fire to adjacent stacks, which then bum, explode, and propagate the reaction still further. Sometimes an entire stack will detonate, and sympathetic detonation of adjacent stacks may also occur. AMMOLOG would like to develop inexpensive and easy methods for minimizing these events. The concept is to use simple barriers, easily made from materials available on site, that will interrupt sympathetic detonation and stop low-trajectory fragments, and to use fire-resistant blankets to protect adjacent stacks from firebrands and small, high-trajectory fragments. Much ammunition is packaged in wood crates and boxes, and stacked on wood pallets to facilitate handling and transportation. Fragments from exploding munitions can impact these materials and heat them to their ignition temperature, causing them to bum. If this happens, the munitions in or on them can be heated to their reaction point and, thus, further propagation. This report discusses the temperature of fragments from exploding ordnance.
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