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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/Y014146/1
Title: High Explosive Advanced Diagnostics and Media Modelling (HEADaMM)
Principal Investigator: Langdon, Professor GS
Other Investigators:
Rigby, Dr SE Willmott, Dr JR Eakins, Dr D
Clarke, Professor SD Tyas, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
AWE Fluid Gravity / Applied Electromagnetics MBDA
Permali Gloucester Ltd Schwer Engineering & Consulting Services Synthetik Applied Technologies
Department: Civil and Structural Engineering
Organisation: University of Sheffield
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 January 2024 Ends: 31 December 2026 Value (£): 1,073,170
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Structural Engineering
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Aerospace, Defence and Marine
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
05 Sep 2023 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 5 6 7 September 2023 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Blast loading from explosives remains a global threat to life. This can be targeted terrorist attacks such as the 7/7 bombings and Manchester Arena attacks, the lasting effects of explosive remnants of war (such as landmines in post-conflict regions), or explosive violence in active conflict zones (such as Ukraine). The research community has a good understanding of blast loads generated in simplified settings, such as high explosives detonated in free air, but real-world explosions occur when explosives are encased in other media (such as suitcases, pipe bombs, landmines, and IEDs).

The HEADaMM project will develop world-leading experimental approaches to identify the complex mechanisms involved in detonating explosives surrounded by media other than air, including measuring the loads and tracking how the explosive fireball expands and interacts with its surroundings. By understanding the effects of the surrounding medium, we will unlock the key to controlling the subsequent blast shock and ejecta, making it possible to predict and mitigate their deadly effects.

This project will, for the first time, use thermal management of the explosive energy output to understand and control the subsequent blast shock from a high explosive detonation.

A mechanistic model for how the load from an encased charge is transferred into the surroundings will be generated by conducting physical tests with a novel, world-leading apparatus for the measurement of loading from explosions. This is to be combined with expertise in the fields of optics/thermometry to enable us to fully quantify the state of the explosion at any point in time. The knowledge and supporting model will be able to drive forward applications such as civilian demining suits and protection for humanitarian convoys, as well as protection for buried services in urban environments. Specifically, the model will allow for the optimization of the protection afforded by life-preserving systems based on the conditions/threat to be encountered, which has never previously been attempted.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.shef.ac.uk