Historical Perspective: Metallurgical Effects of High Strain-Rate Deformation and Fabrication

  • John S. Rinehart


Research on the reaction of metals to explosions and impacts has been largely stimulated and guided by practical problems. French militarists as early as the 1830’s were fragmenting hollow cannon balls under controlled conditions to establish optimum loading and material properties of the casings. Shortly before World War I, the British engineer Hopkinson made detailed observations on spalling of metals. In the 1930’s, the possibilities of using high explosives to form and project missiles was recognized. This led to the development of the metal-lined shaped charges used so effectively in World War II and later in the recovery of oil, and to the method used to trigger atomic explosions. Development of sophisticated electronic missile fuzing during and following the war emphasized the need for equally sophisticated fragmentation control, a field that has since occupied the attention of many engineers. The non-military use of explosives to work and deform metals started and began to flourish in the 1950’s with many small industrial operations springing up. The extensive engineering developments have heretofore been accompanied by only limited basic research efforts but recently these have greatly expanded in a concerted attempt to understand metal behavior under rapidly applied intense loading.


Shock Wave Stress Wave High Explosive Explosive Charge Shaped Charge 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. Rinehart
    • 1
  1. 1.HyperDynamicSSanta FeUSA

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