Studies of Metal—Water Reactions by the Exploding Wire Technique

  • Louis BakerJr.
  • Raymond L. Warchal
Conference paper


The exploding wire technique was used as a method of studying chemical reactions between molten metals and water. Research was directed toward heating a maximum quantity of metal to an accurately known temperature in a range of interest in chemical studies. Two methods of measuring the energy imparted to a specimen wire by discharging condensers were developed. Both methods involved the use of short lengths of constantan wire in the discharge circuit. Small thermocouples, attached to the constantan wires, provided a direct measure of the “action integral.” Suitable calibration procedures made it possible to calculate specimen wire temperature to within 100°C. The estimate of accuracy was proved by (1) the correlation between calculated temperature and indications of melting for two sizes of zirconium, uranium, and platinum wires, and (2) the reproducibility of the observed extent of metal—water reaction.


Reaction Cell Metal Temperature Circuit Inductance Specimen Wire Specimen Resistance 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press New York 1962

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louis BakerJr.
    • 1
  • Raymond L. Warchal
    • 1
  1. 1.Chemical Engineering DivisionArgonne National LaboratoryUSA

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