Five decades of explosives research
Electromechanical technologist Gilbert Gonzalez and mechanical engineer Megan Tribble, both in the Explosives Engineering Operations Dept., test configurations for the Explosive Destruction System, or EDS. The Sandia-designed system was developed in the 1990s and is the only successful technology that doesn’t use incineration to destroy munitions. Over the years, the basic operation of EDS has remained the same. At its core is a leak-tight vessel in which munitions are placed. An explosive shaped charge opens the metal shell, exposing the chemical agent and burster, a small explosive that disperses the agent. The burster explodes or deflagrates safely inside the vessel. A reagent is then pumped into the chamber to neutralize the chemical agent. The chamber is heated and rotateded to mix the chemicals and speed the reaction.
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Photo by Randy Montoya.