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Posted: 6/10/2002 8:54:20 AM EDT
I would think that if the powder is a high explosive there would be no flame, just pure gas. So is the flash just gas hot enough to glow? Or perhaps is it powder that wasn't detonated and merely burned in the barrel (in which case that's a huge waste of energy)?
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:01:33 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:02:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2002 9:05:04 AM EDT by TheFNG]
The Flash or light that you see is the result of incomplete combustion. Remember an explosion is just a really fast fire. And if we could get powders that completely burn and simply turn into a "gas" there would be no reason to clean our AR's anymore. Wouldn't that be nice!
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:07:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/10/2002 9:13:12 AM EDT by Greenhorn]

Originally Posted By thebeekeeper1:
Smokeless (progressive burning) gunpowder is not an explosive. Black powder is. There is no detonation, except of the priming compound.



Wait a minute. . .black powder is not an explosive. It is a "low explosive". It only burns really fast. Things like TNT are high explosives; they explode whether they're confined or not. My dad told me that TNT will burn like wax, and to get it to explode you need to detonate it. I don't know about smokeless powder . . . I thought smokeless powder is the same stuff that's used in ammunition, in which case it has to be a high explosive because of the following: A few weeks ago I pulled the bullets out of a few .223 shells, stuffed a little kleenex into them to hold the powder in, and fired them. The explosion was just as loud as a normal cartrige, but it wasn't confined. The powder has to be a high explosive. . .doesn't it?
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:57:48 AM EDT
No smokless powder is not a high explosive. Its a very fast burning solid propellant. Actually the speed of burning depends on whether or not its confined. You can pour a small pile on the ground a light it...just burns fairly slowly with a dirty orange flame.

When you confine it in a gun barrel it burns much more rapidly.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 11:48:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By ECS:
No smokless powder is not a high explosive. Its a very fast burning solid propellant. Actually the speed of burning depends on whether or not its confined. You can pour a small pile on the ground a light it...just burns fairly slowly with a dirty orange flame.

When you confine it in a gun barrel it burns much more rapidly.



Correct, and since the volume of gas produced by this quick-burning process is so very large, it expels itself through the neck of the cartridge at very high pressure. So the answer to the question would be...hot gas, correct?
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 11:48:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:12:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Greenhorn:
I would think that if the powder is a high explosive there would be no flame, just pure gas. So is the flash just gas hot enough to glow? Or perhaps is it powder that wasn't detonated and merely burned in the barrel (in which case that's a huge waste of energy)?


A solid does not burn, what causes flame(fire) is the gas given off in a sufficently heated solid. A room for example if tightly sealed, will actually put out a fire(lack of O2 not fuel), but don't open that door pal or your going for a ride. A detonation is a different matter altogether instead of burning (deflagration) a substance say C-4 can be lit with a match (don't try it at home kids)and heat your beanies and weenies in 20 seconds, add a blasting cap and the difference between deflagration and detonation will be evident. In a detonation the shock wave travels at supersonic speeds and a 1/2 lb overpressure is enough to blow out a wall, or you to a pink mist. Don't play with fire......
Gib
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:27:12 PM EDT
I'm no expert, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night...

I have read quite a bit about explosives but, unfortunately have never been able to apply that knowledge. So I'll give my rendition of what I've read We really need someone from Tannerite, or the like, to weigh in with actual experience.

All gun powders burn, rather than explode. They must be confined as in a gun barrel or other pressure vessel in order to create enough pressure to create a shock wave. You place a pile of smokeless or black powder on the ground apply fire and you get a "FFFFSSST", no "BOOM". You place a block of C4 on the ground and apply fire and you don't even get a "FFFFSSST", but you can make a nice cup of Joe with the resulting campfire. Take the same block of C4 and apply a whole bunch of energy at once, i.e. use a blasting cap, and you get a very satisfying "KA-BOOM".

The type of explosive determines the amount of energy required to initiate the "KA-BOOM". Nitro glycerin: very little energy (don't drop the bottle). C4, TNT, w/o the blasting cap all you have is another log on the fire.

As far a "high explosive" vs. "low explosive" I understand that has to due with the brisonance (sp?) i.e. how fast the explosive explodes.

As far as the muzzle flash goes I'm going say it's unburnt stuff, power or combustible gasses (I'm not sure), that, when they hit the atmosphere they find that last little bit of oxygen or time and finish the combustion process. I believe this is why a flash hider is is designed hold a large volume of gas and slow it down to allow the combustion process to finish before the unburnt cloud of stuff grows to the size of a volley ball. Where-as a compensator does not work as a flash hider because it is designed to redirect gas while it is still at high pressure and velocity therefor negating the slowing and pressure reduction of the flash hider.

What do you think? If there are any true "experts" I'd like to hear how close my version is to reality.

Kent
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:02:23 PM EDT
Flash is light being bent from the heat and energy released from the chemical reaction from the powder burning. It is wasted energy. It has to be that way, guns are not efficient but functional. So basically it is burning powder burning away in the air. If you only had enough energy to get it out of the barrel thats all it would do, make it out of the barrel and fall directly on the ground.
GG
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 4:05:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
I'm no expert, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn last night...

I have read quite a bit about explosives but, unfortunately have never been able to apply that knowledge. So I'll give my rendition of what I've read We really need someone from Tannerite, or the like, to weigh in with actual experience.

All gun powders burn, rather than explode. They must be confined as in a gun barrel or other pressure vessel in order to create enough pressure to create a shock wave. You place a pile of smokeless or black powder on the ground apply fire and you get a "FFFFSSST", no "BOOM". You place a block of C4 on the ground and apply fire and you don't even get a "FFFFSSST", but you can make a nice cup of Joe with the resulting campfire. Take the same block of C4 and apply a whole bunch of energy at once, i.e. use a blasting cap, and you get a very satisfying "KA-BOOM".

The type of explosive determines the amount of energy required to initiate the "KA-BOOM". Nitro glycerin: very little energy (don't drop the bottle). C4, TNT, w/o the blasting cap all you have is another log on the fire.

As far a "high explosive" vs. "low explosive" I understand that has to due with the brisonance (sp?) i.e. how fast the explosive explodes.

As far as the muzzle flash goes I'm going say it's unburnt stuff, power or combustible gasses (I'm not sure), that, when they hit the atmosphere they find that last little bit of oxygen or time and finish the combustion process. I believe this is why a flash hider is is designed hold a large volume of gas and slow it down to allow the combustion process to finish before the unburnt cloud of stuff grows to the size of a volley ball. Where-as a compensator does not work as a flash hider because it is designed to redirect gas while it is still at high pressure and velocity therefor negating the slowing and pressure reduction of the flash hider.

What do you think? If there are any true "experts" I'd like to hear how close my version is to reality.

Kent


Oxygen is not required, all the elements are there for a total burn.
GG
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:30:35 PM EDT
I will try to answer this question in simple laymans terms, the way it was explained to me. But first I will have to ask the question what is the main bi-product in the combustion of a fuel? ( Carbon and heated gas ) No fuel can be 100% consumed, without leaving some form of elements behind, some are just more efficient than others. True gunpowder is slooow burning but compress it and you get the boom ( Rapid pressure expansion ) commonly associated with discharging firearms. So IMHO I would have to say the flash we see is both superheated carbon and gas and depending on the efficiency of the powder being used unspent fuel.
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 8:07:16 AM EDT
It depends on if it was caused by the beer or by the burritos...
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 10:01:00 AM EDT

You place a block of C4 on the ground and apply fire and you don't even get a "FFFFSSST", but you can make a nice cup of Joe with the resulting campfire.

What happens if you let the C4 burn for a while, then try to stamp the fire out with your boot?
Link Posted: 6/12/2002 2:28:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Renamed:

You place a block of C4 on the ground and apply fire and you don't even get a "FFFFSSST", but you can make a nice cup of Joe with the resulting campfire.

What happens if you let the C4 burn for a while, then try to stamp the fire out with your boot?


BBOOOOOOOOMMMMMM
GG
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