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CHAPTER CHAPTER 10 10
EXPLOSIVES EXPLOSIVES
10-1 INTRODUCTION
Explosives are valuable tools for salvage, clearance, and related work when used properly, but are inherently dangerous and expensive. However,
explosives can accomplish certain salvage tasks with less effort, in less time, or in greater safety than alternative methods. Explosives entail
a risk of damage or injury to the casualty, nearby structures, the environment, salvors, and noninvolved personnel. There are advantages and
disadvantages to using explosives for any task; they are not a formula for instant salvage.
Explosives techniques are often more time-consuming than other methods because of the thorough preparation required for their effective use.
The signicant advantages of explosives are the ability to:
Make multiple cuts or long, continuous cuts simultaneously.
Perform cutting or breaking operations remotely.
Explosives are suitable when machinery and equipment for other effective methods are not available, or cannot be transported to a remote site.
Although regulated and restricted, explosives are transportable. When large quantities of explosives are required, several small shipments can
be made.
Explosives are used in salvage to:
Cut portions of ship structure:
(1) Section wrecks for piecemeal removal.
(2) Open spaces to the sea to weigh down stranded ships.
(3) Sink removed wrecks.
(4) Trim ragged plating, open accesses into spaces, remove tophamper, and make other routine cuts when alternative methods are
more difficult, less economical, or more dangerous.
Excavate rm seaoors, especially rock, coral, hardpan, etc.:
(1) Cut channels for retracting stranded ships.
(2) Remove impaling or obstructing coral heads, rock outcroppings, etc.
(3) Cut temporary or alternate channels, or deepen, widen, or straighten existing channels in harbor clearance.
(4) Blast holes for deadmen, anchorages, or footings in coral, rock, or other hard soils on shore or underwater.
(5) Dig trenches alongside or tunnels under casualties.
Countermine potentially explosive casualties or work areas before starting work.
Disperse, atten, or bury wrecks or other debris.
Set drag embedment anchors.
Remove or demolish manmade structures, such as piers, seawalls, pilings, platforms, etc.
Induce vibration to uidize soils to reduce friction or suction.
Create articial swells to help reoat stranded ships.
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Detailed guidance concerning blasting practice, techniques, and safety is beyond the scope of this manual. The Navy Technical Manual for Use
of Explosives in Underwater Salvage (NAVSEA-SW061-AA-MMA-010) and Army eld manual Explosives and Demolitions (FM 5-25) provide
specic instructions for eld use of explosives. The following discussion is general in nature and does not provide performance data for specic
explosives, nor detailed descriptions of complex procedures. Some basic information is presented to enable the salvage engineer to:
Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of explosive methods as compared to other techniques for specic applications.
Make preliminary estimates of time, effort, precautions, type and quantities of explosives, and other supplies required for the job.
Evaluate the probable impact explosives use will have on the environment, casualty, area structures, and nearby inhabited areas.
Obtain necessary permits.
10-2 EXPLOSIVES SAFETY
Because of the inherent destructive power of explosives, strict safety procedures must be an integral part of any explosives operation. Two basic
precautions are of utmost importance:
Explosives are to be handled and employed only by properly trained and qualied personnel.
All personnel on site must be aware that explosives are in use, and be briefed about the impact this has on salvage operations, and
necessary safety precautions.
Explosives impact salvage operations in several ways:
Gaseous products of detonations, explosive residue, and packaging are toxic.
Explosives can be detonated inadvertently by heat, impact, or electrical discharge. To reduce risk of damage or injury from
accidental detonation, explosives storage, use, and transportation are governed by strict regulations that may be difficult or
impossible to satisfy at the salvage site:
(1) Explosives must be stored in shipboard, permanent, or portable magazines approved by the Navy and/or the Department of
Transportation, Bureau of Mine Safety, and state and local agencies.
(2) Minimum safe distances must be maintained between sources of electromagnetic radiation and electro-explosive devices
(electric blasting caps, etc.).
(3) Blasting cannot be conducted during storms that produce atmospheric electrical discharges, or when such a storm is within
ve miles of the blasting site.
(4) Minimum safe distances between explosive storage and work or living sites are required.
(5) Blasting caps and main charge explosives cannot be transported or stored together.
(6) FAA regulations prohibit transport of primary explosives (blasting caps and initiators) on commercial aircraft.
It may be difficult or impossible to gain permission to use, store, and transport explosives.
Atmospheric conditions can intensify blast effects, causing undesirable damage and/or preventing blasting altogether until the
weather changes.
Explosives must be used in strict conformance with the regulations of local governments.
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10-3 EXPLOSIVES THEORY
An explosive is a compound or intimate
Figure 10-1. Detonation Advance.
SHOCK AND STRESS WAVE
IN THE SURROUNDING MEDIA
EXPANDING GASES
PRIMARY
REACTION
ZONE
STABLE
PRODUCTS,
MAINLY
GASES
SHOCK FRONT
PATH OF DETONATION
UNDISTURBED
EXPLOSIVE
C-J PLANE
mixture that, under certain initiating
conditions, undergoes extremely rapid
chemical transformation, generating large
quantities of gas and heat. The intense heat
causes rapid expansion of the gases, that in
turn causes almost instantaneous generation
of extremely high pressures.
10-3.1 Explosions. High explosives
detonate; that is, the chemical reaction
moves through the mass of explosive at a
velocity faster than the speed of sound in
the material3,000 to 4,000 feet per
second for most explosives. The advancing
supersonic shock wave initiates detonation
in the material; the detonation supports and
intensies the shock wave. The advancing
shock (detonation) wave sweeps through
the explosive until it reaches the side walls
of the charge where it passes into the
surrounding media. In an elongated
explosive charge initiated at one end, the
Figure 10-2. Effects of Charge Diameter on Detonation Velocity.
25,000
20,000
15,000
10,000
5,000
0 1 2 3 4 5
CHARGE DIAMETER, D
e
, IN
V
E
L
O
C
I
T
Y
,
V
e
,
f
p
s
6 7 8 9 10
CAST 50/50 PENTOLITE
STRAIGHT GELATIN 60%
HIGH EXPLOSIVE
SEMIGELATIN 45% BULK-
STRENGTH HIGH EXPLOSIVE
SLURRY (WATER GEL)
BLASTING AGENT
PREMIXED AMMONIUM
NITRATE/FUEL OIL BLASTING
AGENT
expanding detonation wave forms an
approximately planar shock front, as shown
in Figure 10-1. The primary reaction zone
is bounded by the shock front and the
Chapman-Jouquet (C-J) plane. The
thickness of the primary reaction zone
varies inversely with the speed of advance,
or detonation velocity, of the shock wave
through the explosive. Detonation velocity
is independent of charge weight, but is
affected by charge geometry, particularly
charge diameter. Figure 10-2 shows the
effect of charge diameter on detonation
velocity of some commercial explosives.
The expansion of the high-pressure, heated
gases behind the C-J plane causes a
compressive strain pulse, or wave, that is
transmitted into the surrounding media. At
interfaces between media, such as the far
side of a target object, part of the
compression wave is transmitted and part is
reected as a tension pulse or wave. The
reected tension wave is an important part
of the fracture mechanism in rock blasting
and some types of cutting charges.
Low explosives deagrate; the reaction moves through the material at less than sonic speed as a rapid burning. No signicant shock wave is
formed. High explosives will burn or deagrate if small amounts are ignited. Quantities of high explosive that exceed the critical mass for
the particular explosive will deagrate with progressively increasing intensity until detonation occurs.
High explosive charges are initiated by small initiating charges, or detonators, of very sensitive explosives. Detonators are thermally ignited
by safety fuses or electrical impulses.
Explosive coupling is a subjective term for the efficiency with which the energy of the explosive is transferred to the intended target. Coupling
is affected by charge geometry and placement. Except in the case of shaped charges, coupling is improved by ensuring intimate contact between
the charge and target, with no intervening air or water-lled spaces.
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10-3.2 Properties of Explosives. Various properties of an explosive affect its handling, employment, and ability to perform specic tasks.
Detonation velocity is the major property determining an explosives performance characteristics.
10-3.2.1 Brisance. Brisance indicates the relative rate of energy release of an explosive. A very brisant explosive produces a rapid pressure
rise and a strong impact. Explosives with higher rates of detonation are usually more brisant than slower detonating explosives. Steel, brittle
rock, concrete, and other brittle or elastic materials are cut with brisant explosives. Less brisant explosives produce less impact; can move
objects without shattering them; move soft substances, such as earth; and break plastic materials, such as some types of rock.
10-3.2.2 Relative Effectiveness. Relative effectiveness is the ability of an explosive to perform work compared to a standard explosive. TNT
is the normal comparison standard. The effectiveness of an explosive is referenced to that of TNT by a relative effectiveness (RE) factor (RE
TNT
= 1). Formulas for determining charge weight for specic applications are normally referenced to TNT. The amount of another explosive
required for the same task is found by dividing the weight of TNT required by the RE factor. Blast effect calculations are also based on weights
of TNT. An equivalent TNT weight for any explosive is found by multiplying the actual charge weight by the RE factor.
10-3.2.3 Sensitivity. Sensitivity is a measure of the amount of energy required to initiate detonation. Primary explosives are very sensitive.
Secondary explosives are much less sensitive and usually require the explosion of a small amount of primary explosive to initiate detonation.
Sensitivity is not an indication of an explosives power or effectiveness.
10-3.2.4 Sensitiveness. Sensitiveness is the tendency of an explosive to detonate from the impact of a shock wave from another explosion
(sympathetic explosion). It is measured by the maximum distance that an unprimed charge can be detonated by a nearby explosion.
10-3.2.5 Water Resistance. Water resistance is the measure of an explosives resistance to degradation from wetting or immersion. No
explosive is completely water-resistant. Most military explosives have good water resistance or are packaged to prevent water from contacting
the explosive.
10-3.3 Underwater Explosions.
Figure 10-3. Pressure-Time History Versus Distance.
PRESSURE
INCREASING
DISTANCE
FROM
EXPLOSION
EXPLOSIVE
0
TIME
Approximately 40 percent of the energy of
an underwater explosion creates an
expanding gas bubble; the remainder is
transmitted to the surrounding water as a
shock wave.
10-3.3.1 Shock Wave. An explosive
shock wave is characterized by a steep
pressure rise with an exponential decay, as
shown in Figure 10-3. The shock wave
initially propagates at extremely high speed,
but after a few feet, speed of propagation
drops to essentially the speed of sound in
waterabout 5,000 feet per second. The
peak pressure (P
o
) and the initial decay
time constant () at range R are given by
the following formulae:
where:
P
o
= 21,600

,
W
1/3
R
1.13
= 58W
1/3

,
W
1/3
R
0.22
P
o
= peak pressure, psi
R = range from charge center, ft
W = weight of TNT in pounds
= initial decay time constant,
milliseconds
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At range R, the shock-wave pressure signature is:
where:
P = P
o
e
t/
P = pressure at time t after initial pressure rise P
o
, psi
t = time, milliseconds
Peak overpressures in the vicinity of explosions are very high, but of very short duration. At greater distances from the explosion, overpressures
are much lower, but of longer duration. The total effect of the shock wave is a function of both the peak overpressure and impulse. The area
under the pressure decay-time curve, in psi-milliseconds, is the normal measure of explosive impulse.
When a shock wave strikes a solid object, part of its energy is transmitted, part is absorbed, and part is reected. For air-backed membranes,
like ship hulls, very little of the shock-wave energy is transmitted. Pressure loading from the reected shock wave causes deection of the hull.
The shock-wave pressure soon decreases to zero and cavitation occurs adjacent to the hull. Reloading, caused by the closing of the cavitation
reinforced by the waterow around the expanding and rising gas bubble, causes additional deection. Reloading may be many times as severe
as the shock-wave effect alone. Reloading is a function of charge depth and slant range, and is generally zero for charges at ranges greater than
twice the charge depth.
Most of the shock-wave energy is transmitted through water-backed hulls with only a small amount absorbed and as little as 25 percent of the
deection of air-backed hulls.
10-3.3.2 Scaled Distance. A principle of similarity applies to shock wave phenomena which permits extrapolation of pressure-time history
for a given charge weight and distance to another charge weight. Given a pressure-time plot at a distance d for a charge W, a charge W
1
will
produce the same plot at a distance kd, if the time scale is also multiplied by k, where k is the ratio of linear dimensions of the two charges.
For example, if a 3-pound charge produces a peak pressure of 620 psi at a distance of 47 feet, with a time decay curve extending over 2
milliseconds, the distance at which a 1-pound charge will produce the same peak pressure, and the associated decay time can be calculated.
Since weight is a constant function of volume, the volume ratio of the two charges is equal to the weight ratio. The volume ratio is the cube
of the linear dimension ratio, so:
The 1-pound charge will produce a peak pressure of 620 psi at a range of 0.69336 47 = 32.6 feet. The pressure decay curve will extend over
k =
3
W
1
W
=
3
1
3
= 0.69336
0.69336 2 = 1.4 milliseconds. To estimate peak pressures for varying distances and charge weights, a constant scaled distance can be dened:
With the constant r determined for a charge weight yielding a known peak pressure at a specied range, the charge weight to give the same
r =
R
3
W
peak pressure at different range, or the range at which a different charge weight will give the same peak pressure can be calculated.
The scaled distance concept is valid for systems unaffected by outside forces, such as gravity. Shock waves are essentially unaffected by gravity,
but bubble behavior is greatly affected by gravity (buoyancy). Scaled distances cannot be applied to bubble pulses and similar phenomena.
10-3.3.3 Bubble Pulse. The gaseous products of combustion expand to form an approximately spherical bubble. The maximum radius of the
gas bubble for charges detonated in free water is given by:
R
max
= 12.6

,
W
D 33
1/3
where:
R
max
= maximum gas bubble radius, ft
D = charge depth, ft
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The expanding bubble radiates a pressure
Figure 10-4. Gas Bubble Expansion.
WATER SURFACE
EXPLOSIVE
CHARGE
IN WATER
ON DETONATION,
GASES EXPAND
TO FORM AN
APPROXIMATELY
SPHERICAL BUBBLE
BUBBLE COLLAPES
FROM REGION OF
GREATEST PRESSURE
(ARROW LENGTHS
INDICATE WATER
VELOCITY)
BUBBLE EXPANDS
PRINCIPALLY IN
ONE DIRECTION
(a) (b) (c) (d)
Figure 10-5. Pressure-Time Signature 60 Feet from 300-Pound
TNT Charge Detonated in Deep Water.
SHOCK WAVE
FIRST
BUBBLE
PULSE
1770 LB/IN
2
80 LB/IN
2
P
o
O SEC O.69 SEC
TIME
APPROX. 100 SEC
P
R
E
S
S
U
R
E
pulse that is less intense than the initial
shock wave, but is still signicant. The
expanding gases cause a rapid outow of
water that continues temporarily after the
gas pressure and water pressure equalize
because of the waters momentum. The
continued expansion causes pressure in the
bubble to drop below ambient hydrostatic
pressure. The inward pressure differential
soon causes a reverse ow and the bubble
is recompressed. The bubble collapses
away from the region of greatest pressure
as shown in Figure 10-4. The momentum
of the moving water compresses the bubble
beyond equilibriumthe bubble will
expand again, creating a second, weaker,
bubble pulse. The cyclic expansion and
contraction of the gas bubble, with
attendant pressure pulses, continues through
several oscillations or until the bubble vents
at the surface. Usually only the rst pulse
is signicant. At the end of the rst bubble
contraction, 84 percent of the energy
released by the explosion has been
transmitted to the surrounding water. By
the end of the second contraction, the
bubble has lost 92 percent of the original
energy. Water depth and the proximity of
boundary surfaces inuence the form and
movement of the bubble. Buoyancy causes
the bubble to rise, but hydrodynamic forces
drive it toward rigid surfaces and away
from the water surface. The time required
for the expansion-contraction cycle varies
with charge weight and explosive type,
ranging from 0.02 to 0.7 seconds. Bubble
pulses are likely for detonations at depths
greater than 25 feet. For small charges
(less than
2
3-pound), two bubble pulses
have been observed for charges in as little as
four feet of water.
Peak pressure from the rst bubble pulse is less than 20 percent of that of the shock wave, but duration is much greater; areas under the two
pressure-time curves are comparable. Figure 10-5 shows pressure-time signature at a distance of 60 feet from a 300-pound TNT charge red
50 feet below the surface in deep water. The bubble pulse strikes after the initial shock wave and may cause reloading and additional damage.
Bubble pulse reloading is somewhat mitigated when charges are detonated alongside a hull. The effects can be further mitigated by selecting
a charge weight that produces a maximum bubble radius signicantly less than the minimum distance between the charge and the hull. The
maximum charge weight for a given bubble radius is found by solving the bubble radius formula for charge weight:
W =
R
3
12.6
D 33
where:
W = charge weight, lbs TNT, to create a bubble of radius R, ft
D = charge depth, ft
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Gas bubbles from charges under or near a
Figure 10-6. Seafloor Geometry Likely to Focus Explosive Energy.
CHARGE HARD
BOTTOM
ship may collapse adjacent to the hull plating
as they rise. Pressure pulses from bubbles
collapsing near the hull may cause damage
more severe than the initial shock wave and
reloading. If the bubble rises to a position
very close to the hull, it may collapse and
impact the hull with a water hammer. These
bubble effects are of special concern because
hydrodynamic forces cause bubbles to
migrate toward hard surfaces.
For charges on the seaoor or in shallow
water, the pressure wave and energy trans-
mitted through the water may increase over
the free water values. The increase de-
pends on the rigidity of the seaoor. Very
hard seaoors reect a large percentage of
the energy of incident shock wavesthe
energy available for damage may be
increased 50 percent. Very irregular
seaoors can focus the shock waves, causing very high local overpressures. Figure 10-6 shows a geometry where shock-wave focusing is likely.
In addition to hull damage, the sudden velocity imparted to the hull by the shock wave may cause shock damage to machinery, electronics, and
other shipboard equipment. Equipment may be exposed to accelerations of several hundred to a thousand gravities (gs) even when hull damage
is not serious. Shock load intensity is indicated by a shock factor, dened in Paragraph 10-3.4.1.
10-3.4 Blast Effects of Underwater Explosions. Effects on structures, personnel, and marine life depend on peak overpressure and impulse.
Overpressure and impulse at a distance from the blast have been related to charge weight, distance from the charge, water depth, depth to the
charge, and depth to the target. Empirical relations, based on charge weight and other factors, predict blast effects.
Blast effects can be estimated with fair accuracy in deep water where pressure waves reected from the bottom do not affect pressure levels
signicantly. In shallow water, bottom-reected waves alter blast effects in an unpredictable manner because of variations in seaoor
topography. Ridges and other features can cause shadow zones of low overpressures. Reection from hard seaoors, or hard strata under thin
soft layers, will generally increase overpressures, and can focus shock waves to produce exceptionally high local pressures. Hard, dense materials
reect shock waves and transmit ground vibrations more efficiently than soft seaoors. These effects are not readily quantied and must be
estimated subjectively.
10-3.4.1 Structural Effects. The hull damage to a ship is a function of an empirically derived damage factor, dened as the square root of W/R,
the damage factor, where W is the charge weight (in equivalent pounds of TNT) divided by the slant rangethe straight line distance between
the hull and the charge. Figure 10-7 (Page 10-8) shows curves of the damage factor ( W/R) as a function of the charge depth to range ratio (D/R)
for three nominal hull thicknesses and two categories of damage. Light damage is
1
2-inch to 1-inch deection between stiffeners, little if any
buckling of stiffeners, and no damage to main bulkheads (i.e., damage that would not require repair). Moderate damage is 1-inch to 2-inch
permanent deection between stiffeners with minor buckling of stiffeners and bulkheads. To nd charge weight, the appropriate curves are entered
with the charge depth to range ratio, D/R, to nd the square root of W/R corresponding to the hull thickness. The equivalent TNT charge weight
W can then be found. The curves are generally applicable only for charge weights greater than 10 pounds at distances greater than 10 feet from
the ship. If a charge weight of less than 10 pounds or the slant range is less than 10 feet, the small charge formula below applies.
For small charges detonated at close range, the charge weight that will rupture curved, stiffened plating is an empirical function of range, material
strength, plating thickness, and stiffener spacing:
W =
(6.8 10
6
)( t
3
)

,
1 -
2R
l
1 +

,
2R
l
2
where:
W = charge weight to initiate rupture, lbs of TNT
= plating yield strength, psi
t = plating thickness, in.
R = slant range, center of charge to outer plating surface, in.
l = stiffener spacing, in.
The small charge formula was developed from tests on submarine hull mockups in deep water; it should be applicable to any stiffened plate
structure, but there is no supporting data.
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The ships critical machinery and cargo
Figure 10-7. Damage Factors.
D/R
D/R
(b) MODERATE DAMAGE
(a) LIGHT DAMAGE
3/4" PLATE
3/4" PLATE
1/2" PLATE
1/2" PLATE
1/4" PLATE
1/4" PLATE
0
0
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.2
0.3
0.3
W
W
R
R
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.5
0.6
0.5
0.5
0.6
0.6
0.7
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.9
0.9
1.0
1.0
1.1
1.1
1.2
1.2
= CHANGE WEIGHT, lbs TNT
= SLANT RANGE
= CHARGE DEPTH
= DAMAGE FACTOR
w
R
D
W
R
near the detonation area may be damaged
by shock-induced motions. For charges
less than 20 pounds, only small hull-
mounted equipment in the immediate area
of the detonation is likely to suffer damage.
The degree of shock damage to be expected
is estimated from the shock factor. The
shock factor at the point on the hull nearest
the charge is computed from:
where
Shock Factor (SF) =
W
R

,
1 + sin
2
R = slant range, ft
W = equivalent TNT charge
weight, lbs = charge weight
RE factor
= angle between the shortest
line from the hull to the
charge and a tangent to the
hull at the point nearest to
the hull, as shown in Figure
10-8
To determine the allowable charge weight,
an appropriate shock factor is selected from
Table 10-1 to solve for W:
10-3.4.2 Linear Charges. Linear
W =
4(SF)
2
R
2
(1 + sin)
2
demolition charges are frequently used in
salvage. Line charges produce a complex
pressure eld. In a horizontal plane around
a freely suspended, straight line charge,
maximum peak pressures occur about 120
degrees from the detonation end of the
charge. Pressure decay time is about the
same for a given range, regardless of
orientation relative to the charge axis.
Pressure-time histories on a vertical plane
perpendicular to the line charge are quite
similar to those for a compact charge of
same weight, with slightly higher peak
pressures (2000 psi at 35 feet from a
compact 50 pound charge as opposed to
2400 psi at 35 feet from a 25 foot linear
charge with 50 pounds of explosive). Table
Table 10-1. Degree of Damage for Various Shock Factors.
Shock Factor Damage
<0.1 Insignificant nuisance damage only: light bulbs, fuses, etc.
0.1 - 0.15 Tube, relay, fuse, and light bulb failures; general electronic failures; piping leaks
and possibly a pipe rupture
0.15 - 0.20 Increase in above damage; piping ruptures likely; machinery misalignments likely
0.20 General machinery damage
10-2 shows the horizontal distribution of
peak pressure at distance of 20 feet from
the midlength of a Navy Mk 8 Mod 2 hose
charge (25-foot rubber hose lled with 50
pounds of a 70/30 mixture of composition
A-3 and aluminum powder) detonated while
freely suspended 10 feet below the water
surface in approximately 40 feet of water.
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In An Exploratory Investigation of the
Figure 10-8. Geometry for Calculating Shock Factor.
CHARGE
R

Effects of Underwater Line Charges on


Ship Plating, Naval Ship Research and
Development Center, December 1967, J.K.
Fleming and R.E. Oliver report that the
deection of hull plating between stiffeners
caused by Navy Mk 8 Mod 2 hose charges
can predicted approximately by:
where R, t, W, and are as previously
d = 37
a
R
o
t

1
1
1
1
]
2WLR
o
4R
2
o
L
2
dened and:
d = plating set deection, in.
L = charge length, ft
a = effect i ve pl at i ng si ze
(between stiffeners), in.
Table 10-2. Pressure Distribution Around Mk 8 Mod 2 Hose Charge.
Gage position (angle between line from gage to midlength
and charge axis, with detonation end at 0 degrees)
Peak Pressure
psi
20 1300
30 1500
40 1730
50 2100
60 2600
70 3300
80 3730
90 3900
100 4220
110 4620
120 5000
130 4000
140 3960
150 2390
160 2250
170 2400
180 3050
All pressures measured 20 feet from midlength of charge.
For rectangular plates, effective plating size
is determined from:
where:
a =
1
16
90

,
1
x
2
1
y
2
x = plate width, in.
y = plate length, in.
10-3.4.3 Multiple Charges. Multiple
charges detonated simultaneously are
treated as a single large chargethe total
weight of all charges in the array must be
less than the maximum acceptable charge
weight determined as described in
Paragraph 10-3.4.1 for a single charge.
For multiple charges detonated individually
with delays between detonations, the
maximum acceptable single charge weight
is determined. Charge weights should be
Figure 10-9. Minimum Delay Between Detonations in Charge Array.
CHARGE DEPTH, FEET
55 LBS TNT
35 LBS TNT
20 LBS TNT
10 LBS TNT
5 LBS TNT D
E
L
A
Y
T
I
M
E
,
S
E
C
O
N
D
S
0
0.5
1.0
1.5
2.0
2.5
3.0
10 20 30 40 50 60
one-third the single charge weight or less to
prevent progressive hull damage. A
minimum delay time between detonations is
necessary to allow the energy from the
previous detonation to dissipate so structure
blast loading is not cumulative. Minimum
delay times are taken from Figure 10-9.
10-3.4.4 Ballasting. Water-backed hulls
are more resistant to shock damage than
air-backed hulls. When internal water
damage is not a problem, and the ship can
contain the water, spaces in the vicinity of
explosive charges may be ballasted. How-
ever, the rst air-backed bulkhead exposed
to the explosive loading can incur damage
if it is in close proximity to the charge.
It is not necessary to ood exactly to the
waterline to increase shock resistance, but
there should be several feet of water in any
ballasted space and six inches to one foot of
air between the water surface and the next
deck. No reliable data are available for
predicting how much the charge weight may
be increased if the ship is ballasted. A large bubble collapsing near the hull can cause considerable damage even to water-backed plating.
10-9 10-9
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10-3.5 Effects on Marine Life. Environmental protection agencies may require salvors to estimate blast effects on local marine life. Lethal
ranges may be specied that will limit charge weight.
Lethal range seldom exceeds 650 feet and is estimated by:
Table 10-3. Fish Kill Range Constants.
Fish Weight Depth of Blast, ft K
1 oz 10 328 0.220
1 oz 50 385 0.256
1 oz 200 475 0.262
1 lb 10 174 0.264
1 lb 50 235 0.275
1 lb 200 272 0.299
30 lbs 10 86 0.284
30 lbs 50 131 0.314
30 lbs 200 139 0.342
H
MAX
= KW

where:
H
MAX
= maximum horizontal range of lethal overpressures,
feet
K, = coefficients from Table 10-3
W = charge weight, pounds
Although sh kill range can be estimated, it is very difficult to keep
sh out of a specied area. Bubble screens have been used with
some success.
10-3.6 Safe Distances for Above-water Blasts. The minimum
distances to protect personnel against shock wave and overpressure
are:
SD = 300 W
1/3
Bare charges on or in ground
SD = 350 W
1/3
Charges in rock
where:
SD = safe distance, ft
W = charge weight, lbs TNT = W RE factor
Fragments and debris may be thrown greater distances and hazard personnel in the open. The projectile hazard can be reduced by:
Greater separation distances.
Connement of the explosion at the source.
Barricades between personnel and the blast site.
Evacuation of nonessential personnel.
Overhead cover.
10-10 10-10
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4 EXPLOSIVES WORK
Figure 10-10. Charge Configurations to Channel Explosive Forces.
TAMPING
RIBBON
CHARGE
SHEARING CHARGES
OFFSET ON OPPOSITE
SIDES
CHARGES PLACED
IN BORE HOLES OR
OPPORTUNE OPENINGS
SAND
BAGS
INTERNAL CHARGES
CHARGE PLACEMENT
AND GEOMETRY
SADDLE
CHARGE
CHARGE GEOMETRY
CHARGE
CONFINED
BY WOODEN
BLOCKS AND
PLANK
EXTERNAL CONFINEMENT
The high instantaneous pressure, shock
wave, intense heat, and expansion of the
gas volume perform the useful work of an
explosive charge. A fundamental
characteristic of explosions is that they
initially exert force equally in all directions.
This characteristic is an advantage when the
desired effect is to demolish structure,
disperse wrecks, or lift and move large
quantities of seaoor material. It is a
marked disadvantage when structures or
objects that are not to be damaged are close
to the member to be cut or demolished, as
when removing impalements, trimming
ragged plating, removing obstructing coral
heads, etc.
Explosive forces can be directed, either to
concentrate forces in the work area, or to
deect them away from things to be
protected. Methods to control and channel
explosive forces include those shown in
Figure 10-10:
Tamping or Stemming
Tamping is pressing or
otherwise forcing explosives
into close contact with the
target surface, such as the
walls of a borehole, or
covering an external charge
with a heavy material.
Stemming is placing dense,
plastic material in a bore hole
above a charge to conne the
explosion. Intimate contact
between the explosive and
target improves coupling and
c ha r ge e f f e c t i ve ne s s .
Increasing the resistance to
expansion on the sides of the
charge away from the work causes more energy to be absorbed by the work than if the explosive was unconned. Because more
energy is absorbed by the work object, blast effects in the area are reduced to a limited extent. Dense, plastic materials, such as
clayey soil, mud, water, etc., are the best stemming or tamping agents.
Internal charges The shock and expansive forces of conned charges break and shatter more effectively than those of unconned
charges. Blast effects outside the object are reduced.
Charge geometry Various geometries, placements, and initiation sequences can channel shock- and pressure-wave fronts so that
they converge and reinforce one another in the explosive or the work.
External connement A solid, reecting surface against the charge and away from the work reects part of the shock wave
toward the work, increasing cutting and shearing effects, even though the surface remains in place for only milliseconds following
detonation. Shock and pressure rise in the surrounding area are reduced, but the conning surface is shattered and may create
dangerous ying fragments. The subtle difference between external connement and tamping/stemming is that stemming uses
plastic materialconnement uses hard surfaces.
Barricades Log, earth, or sandbag barricades and specially designed blast curtains absorb blast and deect shock waves away
from areas to be protected. Bubble screens can deect underwater shock waves.
Reduction of blast effects by the methods described above for any charge weight is partially effective; reduction in charge weight gives the
greatest reduction in blast effect. Methods that use explosive forces effectively allow small charges and reduce unwanted blast effects. Thorough
preparation is required for small charges to be effective. The method chosen usually is a compromise between conicting requirements.
10-11 10-11
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4.1 Charge Weight. Charge weight selection is based on two criteria:
The charge must be large enough to perform the task.
The charge must not be so large that it causes unacceptable damage to the casualty, nearby structures, or the environment.
The minimum charge weight that will accomplish the task (in one shot) may be greater than the maximum charge weight what will not cause
damage. It is usually possible to perform the task in a series of steps, each using charge weights smaller than the maximum acceptable weight.
10-4.2 Underwater Blasting. Water
Figure 10-11. Shared Charge Cutting Sequence.
EXPLOSIVE
CHARGE
CONTAINER
LINER
CAVITY
SHAPED
CHARGE
(a)
S
T
A
N
D
-
O
F
F
DETONA-
TION WAVE
APPROACHES
CAVITY LINER
(b)
SHOCK WAVE
COLLAPSES
LINER INDUCING
JET FORMATION
(c)
CUTTING JET
APPROACHES
TARGET
SURFACE
(d)
PLASTIC FLOW
IS INDUCED IN
THE TARGET
MATERIAL AND
THE JET STARTS
TO PENETRATE
(e)
JET PASSES
THROUGH
THE TARGET -
CUT IS
COMPLETE
(f)
INITIATOR
pressure on the side of an object opposite
the explosive blast opposes the impact and
expansion of the explosive. When the work
involves moving large surface areas,
resistance to movement caused by water
pressure and hydrodynamic drag is
signicant and explosive effectiveness is
reduced. For example, it takes about one
pound of explosive to break up and move a
cubic yard of rock in dry air. Two to six
pounds of explosive per cubic yard are
required to break and move the same rock
underwater. Explosive effectiveness is
further reduced as depth increases.
Steel cutting by ribbon charges, shaped
charges, etc., where little surface movement
is required, is not signicantly affected by
immersion in water. Shaped charge
effectiveness is reduced if water cannot be
displaced or evacuated from the cavity and
stand-off (shaped charges are discussed in
Paragraph 10-4.2.1).
Most explosives detonate satisfactorily
under water. Some explosives contain
water-soluble ingredients, and are
desensitized with time when immersed
unless sealed in waterproof containers.
Certain explosives depend on dispersed microscopic air or gas bubbles for ease of initiation. Immersion in deep water compresses the bubbles
and renders them ineffective, so they can be used only in shallow water or if specially formulated for deep water use. Explosives depending
on dispersed bubbles for initiation include those based on or sensitized by nitroglycerine and nitroglycerol, such as gelignites and blasting
gelatins, and those containing aqueous solutions of ammonium nitrate, such as water gels and emulsions.
Most military high explosives, and commercial explosives based on PETN, RDX, and TNT, can be used reliably in deep water because they
are not are not signicantly water-soluble and do not depend on gas bubbles for initiation.
Overlying water is an effective tamping agent, but if the charge is not in intimate contact with the target, the intervening water layer will largely
negate the tamping effect. Even a thin water layer between the charge and target will dissipate some of the explosive energy before it reaches
the target. The shock and compression waves pass through two media interfacesexplosive to water and water to target; energy is reected
away from the target at each interface. If charges cannot be placed in intimate contact with the work, additional tamping in the form of
sandbags, clay, or soil should be used to overcome the dissipation of energy by the intervening water.
Potential water tamping lends a slight theoretical advantage to blasting from the wet side of a hull, but offsetting advantages accrue when
explosives are placed in the dry:
Explosives, fuses, and initiators are not subject to the desensitizing effects of water immersion, or to disturbing forces of current
and surge.
Charges can be placed more effectivelyit is easier to secure charges and intimate contact with the target surface can be attained.
Charges and ring circuits can be inspected immediately before ring.
There is greater control over the personnel placing explosives, and their work can be monitored and inspected with less effort.
Immersion time prior to ring should be minimized to reduce the desensitization of the explosives and the possibility that current or surge will
dislodge charges or initiating circuits.
10-12 10-12
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4.3 Cutting and Fracturing Charges. A principal use of explosives in salvage is cutting hull plating and structure in ships. High-velocity,
brisant explosives, such as TNT and plastic explosives, are best for cutting steel or aluminum. Structural members are cut by a variety of
charges:
Shaped charges A lined or unlined cavity in the explosive produces a high-energy cutting jet.
Fracturing charges Specialized charge geometry causes convergence of strain waves in the target.
Simple contact charges Breakage is accomplished by the combined but uncoordinated effects of shock waves, strain pulses, and
gas expansion.
Shaped and fracturing charges are far more efficient than contact charges, and should be used when available and when suited to working con-
ditions. Because of their relatively small charge weights, shaped and fracturing charges must be placed precisely, and must be held in position
against current or surge to be effective. If charges cannot be placed precisely, better results may be obtained with less efficient contact charges.
10-4.3.1 Shaped Charges. A hollowed-
Figure 10-12. Typical Shaped Charges for Salvage Work.
FLEXIBLE LINEAR
SHAPED CHARGE
BOX TYPE
LINEAR CHARGE
EXPLOSIVE
TARGET
CASE
METAL
LINER
ENCLOSED
STAND-OFF
SPACE
CYLINDRICAL
CHARGE
EXPLOSIVE
CORE
DENSE,
FLEXIBLE
SHEATH
WOODEN
SPOOL
out or shaped charge detonated against a
hard surface produces a crater that is
approximately a mirror image of the charge
cavity. The shaped charge is initiated at a
point behind the cavity; the detonation wave
expands omnidirectionally from the
initiation point or axis. Reaching the cavity,
the detonation wave converges on a plane
(for linear charges) or axis (in cylindrical
charges) perpendicular to the target surface.
The convergence of the shock wave
concentrates the explosive energy in a small
area. The resultant cratering is called the
Munro Effect. If the charge is lined with
metal or other dense material, the explosion
collapses the liner and carries it in the shock
wave to the target surface as a slug (or
blade) of metal and hot gas that acts as a
cutting jet. The jet heats and erodes the
target surface. Shock-wave pressure and jet
effects combine to induce plastic ow in the
target and cut through the material. Figure
10-11 illustrates the cutting sequence for a
lined shaped charge.
For optimum effect, shaped charges are
positioned at a stand-off distance from the
target surface to allow the penetration jet to
form completely before it reaches the target
surface. Optimum stand-off varies with the
cavity angle and charge size; stand-off is
det er mi ned f r om t echni cal or
manufacturers data for the charge used.
Various-sized cylindrical shaped charges
are made for hole cutting. Linear charges
are used for long cuts. Linear charges are
usually made in the form of a box with the
cavity liner set across the inside of the box,
as shown in Figure 10-12. Flexible linear
shaped charges can conform to irregular
surfaces and cut lines. Well-designed
linear cutting charges obtain good results
with relatively small charge weights.
Individual charge weight and explosives
consumption are based on data published
for the particular explosives used. Data for
military shaped charges is given in the Technical Manual for the Use of Explosives in Underwater Salvage (NAVSEA SW061-AA-MMA-010).
Typical manufacturers data for linear shaped charges are shown in Figure 10-13 (Page 10-14).
10-13 10-13
S0300-A8-HBK-010
Shaped charges can be improvised as
Figure 10-13. Typical Manufacturers Data for Linear Shaped Charges.
STAND-OFF FOR OPTIMUM PERFORMANCE
(RDX OR PETN EXPLOSIVE)
MINIMUM CUTTING PERFORMANCE
AT OPTIMUM STAND-OFF
MINIMUM CUTTING PERFORMANCE
AT OPTIMUM STAND-OFF
MINIMUM CUTTING PERFORMANCE
AT OPTIMUM STAND-OFF
MINIMUM CUTTING PERFORMANCE
AT OPTIMUM STAND-OFF
5
3.0
1.5
1.0
0.5
0.2
0.1
2.0
1.0
JETCORD
STAND-
OFF
TARGET
0.5
0.2
0.1
.05
.02
.01
.01
.02
.05
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.2
0.5
1.0
2.0
.02
.05
0.1
0.2
0.5
1.0
1
0
2
0
3
0
4
0
5
0
1
0
0
2
0
0
EXPLOSIVE CORELOAD, GRAINS/FOOT
EXPLOSIVE CORELOAD, GRAINS/FOOT
EXPLOSIVE CORELOAD, GRAINS/FOOT
EXPLOSIVE CORELOAD, GRAINS/FOOT
NOTE: CUTS AT 7 AND 10 GR/FT
MADE AT ZERO STAND-OFF
EXPLOSIVE CORELOAD, GRAINS/FOOT
100
5
5
10
10
50 100 200 500 1000
20
20
50
50
100
100
200 500
200 500 1000 2000 5
0
0
S
T
A
N
D
-
O
F
F
I
N
C
H
E
S
T
H
I
C
K
N
E
S
S
C
U
T
,
I
N
C
H
E
S
T
H
I
C
K
N
E
S
S
C
U
T
,
I
N
C
H
E
S
T
H
I
C
K
N
E
S
S
C
U
T
,
I
N
C
H
E
S
T
H
I
C
K
N
E
S
S
C
U
T
,
I
N
C
H
E
S
1
0
0
0
2
0
0
0
A
L
U
M
I
N
U
M
S
H
E
A
T
H
C
O
P
P
E
R
S
H
E
A
T
H
L
E
A
D
S
H
E
A
T
H
C
1
0
1
8
S
T
E
E
L
T
A
R
G
E
T
COPPER-SHEATHED
JETCORD (RDX OR
PETN EXPLOSIVE)
LEAD-SHEATHED
JETCORD (RDX OR
PETN EXPLOSIVE)
2024-T351
ALUMINUM
TARGET
C10118
STEEL
TARGET
2024-T351
ALUMINUM
TARGET
C10118
STEEL
TARGET
ALUMINUM-SHEATHED
JETCORD (RDX
OR PETN EXPLOSIVE)
SILVER-
SHEATHED
JETCORD
(DIPAM
EXPLOSIVE)
CUT
7075-T6
ALUMINUM
TARGET
OPTIMUM
STAND-OFF
shown in Figure 10-14. When performance
data for a particular material is not
available, cutting ability can be estimated
from the following:
where:
t = t
o

o
t = unknown cutting capacity
(thickness) in material of
density
t
o
= known cutting capacity in
material of density
o
, from
manufacturers data
Water in the stand-off and cavity prevents
the formation of the cutting jet. The
enclosed stand-off of box-type shaped
charges excludes water, but boxes can
withstand hydrostatic pressures only to
shallow depths that vary with the particular
unit. For depths of 30 to 60 feet, the stand-
off can be lled with closed-cell plastic
foam. The foam inhibits jet formation
slightly, so that performance is decreased.
For deeper immersion, the stand-off and
cavity must be constructed to withstand
hydrostatic pressure, or made free ooding
and then evacuated with compressed air or
gas at depth. For underwater use, exible
linear charges can be enclosed in exible
tubes lled with foam or evacuated by
compressed gas. One manufacturer markets
a line of circular cutters prefabricated with
compressed gas ttings.
10-4.3.2 Fracturing Charges. A diamond-shaped sheet of plastic explosive, laid on a steel plate and detonated simultaneously from two
opposite corners, will fracture the metal along a line between the two uninitiated corners. This effect is shown in Figure 10-15(a). The fracture
mechanism depends on the pressure rise as the shock waves from the two detonating points collide, followed by the relaxation as the waves
pass through one another, and the combined effect of two tension waves rebounding from the far side of the target. This arrangement is a
diamond charge and is suitable for cutting bars and pipes, but has limited application for plate cutting because the fracture extends only slightly
beyond the charge.
The diamond charge principle was rst applied to extended plate cutting in fracture tape. Fracture tape, shown in Figure 10-15(b), consists of
a series of diamond charges connected by continuous strips of explosive along the edges of the charges. Fracture tape has seen only limited
use because it was not manufactured in a exible form. The charge may fail to cut if bilateral asymmetry develops between the two initiation
trains. Fracture tape can be improvised by cutting explosive sheet to the appropriate shape.
Shock-wave refraction tape (SRT) is a recently developed explosive charge that works on the principle of shock-wave collision within metal
targets. In this charge, a continuous strip of explosive is molded to the back of an inert wave-shaping element, as shown in Figure 10-15(c).
One manufacturer uses magnetic rubber as the wave-shaping element, providing both exibility as well as an attachment method (provided the
surfaces are clean and smooth). The performance of shock-wave refraction tape is comparable to that of shaped charges when cutting ordinary
steels; very high strength, fracture-resistant steels may not be cut as easily. There is no cavity or stand-off to ood, so SRT is more adaptable
to underwater use than linear shaped charges.
10-14 10-14
S0300-A8-HBK-010
Figure 10-14. Improvised Shaped Charges.
SHEET
EXPLOSIVE
STEEL OR
ALUMINUM
ANGLE
PLASTIC
EXPLOSIVE
PLASTIC
EXPLOSIVE
CONE
WINE
BOTTLE
STICKS TAPED
TO SIDE AS
STAND-OFF
FUSE
CAP
S
T
A
N
D
-
O
F
F
D
I
S
T
A
N
C
E
FOOD CAN
WITH BOTH
ENDS CUT
OUT
PLASTIC
EXPLOSIVE
SHEET
METAL
OR LEAD
SHEET
CONE
RIVET
SIDES OF
CAN FORM
STAND-OFF
CAP
80 - 90
Figure 10-15. Fracturing Charges.
A
A
A A
EXPLOSIVE
FRACTURE
EXPLOSIVE
SHOCK-WAVE
FRONTS
REFLECTED
TENSION WAVE
(a) DIAMOND CHARGE (INITIATED AT POINTS A AND A).
(c) SHOCK-WAVE REFRACTION TAPE (SRT) (b) FRACTURE TAPE.
EXPLOSIVE
INERT BARRIERS INITIATION POINT
EXPLOSIVE
WAVE-SHAPING
ELEMENT
FRACTURES
TENSION
WAVE
SHOCK WAVE
10-15 10-15
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4.3.3 Contact Charges. Simple
Figure 10-16. Steel Cutting Contact Charges.
DETONATING
CORD
EXPLOSIVE
STEEL PLATE
WELDS
STEEL
CHANNEL
STUD
PLATE
SECURING
STRAP
EXPLOSIVE
SHEET OR
PLASTIC
EXPLOSIVE
contact charges require much heavier
charges than shaped or fracturing charges.
Explosive performance can be increased
and charge weight reduced by careful
charge placement, connement, tamping,
and by scoring cut lines with cutting
torches or mechanical cutters. Some
effective charge placements and geometry
are shown in Figure 10-16.
Charge weights can be estimated from the
following relationships:
where:
W =
3
8
A Structural steel
W = D
2
High carbon or alloy steel
W = charge weight, lbs TNT
A = cross-sectional area of section
to be cut, in
2
D = diameter or thickness of
section to be cut, in.
To determine charge weights for explosives
other than TNT, the TNT charge weight is
divided by the relative effectiveness (RE)
factor.
10-4.3.4 Charge Placement. Cutting charges are most effective when the cut line is adjacent to, but not on, a rigid portion of the target surface.
The target must be restrained from moving away from shaped and fracturing charges so the explosive energy is expended in cutting or fracturing
the target, rather than pushing it away. Contact charges create a strong shearing action along the line between the movable and rigid surface.
Hull cutting charges are most effective when slightly offset from frames:
If placed in the middle of the span, a large portion of the explosive energy is expended in deecting the plate.
If placed directly over a stiffener, both the stiffener and the plate must be cut.
For efficient cutting, charges must be placed in intimate contact with the target surface. Charges must be secured to all vertical, steeply angled,
and overhead surfaces, and to horizontal surfaces where current, wind, vibration, or target movement may dislodge them. Where no tie-down
points exist, the following securing methods can be used:
Light metal straps bolted to studs explosively set or friction welded along each side of the cut line.
Tie-down wires, lines, or bongee cords inserted through holes cut, drilled, or burned through the plating (tie-downs can also be
led to studs or magnetic clamps).
Sandbags or similar weights placed on charges on horizontal surfaces.
Backing charges with magnetic strips, adhesive strips, or small suction pads (these methods have had limited success).
Hose charges can be stretched between tie-down points over at or smoothly convex surfaces.
10-4.3.5 Ship Sectioning. Explosives are commonly used to section wrecks for piecemeal removal, or to separate a casualty into two pieces
so that one part can be salvaged. Ship sectioning, including explosive methods, is discussed in the U.S. Navy Ship Salvage Manual, Volume 2
(S0300-A6-MAN-020). The following notes supplement that discussion.
10-16 10-16
S0300-A8-HBK-010
When cutting a ship transversely, the internal structure must be cut as well as the more accessible hull plate and stiffeners. It is very difficult
to obtain complete separation in a single shot. Salvors should plan to make cuts in several shots, or have thermal or mechanical cutting gear
available to sever stubborn structure.
In a landmark operation in 1973, the salvageable aft section of a 960-foot laden ore carrier was explosively separated from the forward part of
the ship, which was abandoned. The ship had sunk by the bow in 130 feet of water. With holds 7, 8, 9, and 10, their associated wing and
double-bottom tanks, and the machinery spaces dry, the after section was buoyant and aoat. The hull was cut in way of number 7 hold by
more than 1,800 feet of custom engineered and fabricated high speed explosive cutters. All cutters were placed in the dry number 7 wing and
bottom tanks. Instantaneous separation (necessary to prevent capsize of or damage to the aft section) was attained by:
Placing cutters against all bulkheads, shell plating, stringers, void tank sections, and pipes extending through the transverse
bulkhead separating holds 7 and 8,
Taking advantage of the vertical shear on the hull resulting from the weight of the forward section, laden with 90,000 tons of ore,
and the buoyancy of the after section, and
Maintaining a 300-ton horizontal astern pull on the after section as the cutters were detonated.
Blast curtains were rigged in the number 7 tanks and hold and the number 8 wing and bottom tanks were pressurized with compressed air to
protect the separating bulkhead. A divers survey after the successful separation revealed no damage to the bulkhead. The operation was made
possible by the salvors employment of specialist explosives engineers who custom designed the explosive cutters, taking into account permissible
blast effects on the aft number 7 bulkhead, gas generation and dispersion requirements, mutual interference between charges, and the strength
of hull structural members. See "The Cutting of the Igara" in Reeds Commercial Salvage Practice, for a more detailed discussion of the
operation.
The order in which the different members are to be cutas well as the methods to be usedmust be considered carefully. Preliminary cuts
should not weaken the structure to the point that it is in danger of collapsing and injuring personnel placing charges for subsequent cuts.
Cutting methods are frequently combined. A hull can be opened up with explosives to permit access to internal structure to be cut by mechanical
or thermal methods. In some cases, preparatory, weakening cuts are made by divers with oxy-arc or exothermic torches, with the nal cuts made
explosively.
Simple types of ships are better candidates for explosive sectioning than more complex types. The following ship types lend themselves to
explosive sectioning:
Transversely framed ships, because there are fewer longitudinal stiffeners to cut.
Freighters and bulk carriers, because most do not have centerline longitudinal bulkheads (some bulk carriers have wing tanks whose
inner bulkheads must be cut). Small ships often do not have double bottoms.
Small, single-product tankers, because they do not have wing tanks or double bottoms.
The following ship types are not good candidates for explosive sectioning:
Longitudinally framed ships, because of the large number of longitudinal stiffeners.
Passenger ships and warships, because of their extensive joiner work, internal subdivision, wireways, piping, and ventilation
systems.
Large tankers and product carriers, because they are constructed with two or more longitudinal bulkheads.
Freighters with insulated holds.
10-17 10-17
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4.4 Seaoor Blasting. Seaoor
Figure 10-17. Obstruction Blasting.
CONTACT BLASTING MUDCAPPING
SNAKEHOLING
STEMMING
STEMMING
CHARGE
CHARGE
BLOCKHOLING
blasting moves large amounts of seaoor
material by channeling, trenching, etc., or
removes isolated obstructions, such as
pinnacles, coral heads, and boulders. The
basic techniques are:
Contact Blasting Charges
are placed on the formation
to be blasted, either indi-
vidually, or in line or
checkerboard patterns. The
detonating explosive imparts
a violent blow to the seaoor
material. The efficiency of
contact blasting depends on
maintaining intimate contact
with the material to be
blasted. Contact blasting is
the least efficient blasting
method in terms of explosive
consumption, but requires the
least time and effort to
prepare and set charges.
Boreholes Internal charges
are placed in boreholes
drilled or augured into the
object or strata to be blasted.
10-4.4.1 Rock Blasting. The choice of explosive for a particular rock-blasting job depends on the hardness and density of the rock and the
type of breakage desired. Fast, brisant explosives such as TNT or composition C-4 are required to break most kinds of rock, although slower
explosives are effective on soft rock, such as limestone.
Rock is weakest in tension, so internal charges are most effective. Contact blasting depends on the tamping effect of overlying water to conne
the explosion momentarily, and is effective only on soft rock and coral, where the material is broken by crushing rather than shattering. The
rock fragments are moved by the expanding gases, so high gas production is required to move dense rock. If the object is to break up rock for
removal by nonexplosive means, gas production of the explosive is less important. Individual boulders are broken by one of the methods
discussed below. The methods are illustrated in Figure 10-17.
Mudcapping A contact charge is covered with 10 to 12 inches of mud, clay, or moist soil tamping. Plastic clay is the most
effective tamping. Loose sand should not be used, but sandbags are effective.
Snakeholing The charge is placed in a hole jetted, bored, or otherwise excavated under an object lying on, or partially buried
in, a soft seaoor. Snakeholing is more effective than mudcapping under all conditions, and requires about one-half as much
explosive as contact blasting.
Blockholing The charge or charges are placed in one or more boreholes. Explosive effect can be altered by changing charge
weights and placement; rock formations, boulders, concrete structures, etc., can be completely demolished, be broken into
fragments of varying size, or have portions broken off. Blockholing requires about one-third as much explosive as contact blasting.
Table 10-4 gives approximate explosive requirements in pounds per
Table 10-4. Powder Factors (lb/yd
3
) for Rock Blasting.
Blasting Method Air Blasting Underwater Blasting
Contact Blasting Not effective 6 - 20
Mudcapping 1 - 2 4 - 15
Snakeholing 1 - 1
1
2 3 - 10
cubic yard, or powder factor, for different rock-blasting methods. A
range of powder factors for each method is given. The actual powder
factor for any project will depend on:
The relative density and toughness of the rock.
Whether individual boulders or massive rock formations
are being blasted.
Water depth.
10-18 10-18
S0300-A8-HBK-010
The lower values in Table 10-4 are based
Table 10-5. Rock Density and Toughness.
Type of Rock Density lb/ft
3
Relative Toughness (Limestone = 1)
Andesite 150 - 175 1.1
Basalt 150 - 200 1.7 - 2.3
Conglomerate 125 - 162 N/A
Dioritic 156 - 200 1.9 - 2.1
Felsite 150 - 200 N/A
Gabbro 169 - 200 N/A
Granite 156 - 194 1.5 - 2.1
Gneiss 150 - 181 1.0 - 1.9
Limestone 160 - 187 1.0
Marble 131 - 181 N/A
Quartzite 125 - 200 1.9 - 2.7
Sandstone 124 - 194 1.5 - 2.6
Schist 150 - 175 1.0 - 2.1
Shale 112 - 194 N/A
Slate 156 - 194 1.2
on blasting massive limestone at depths of
30 to 60 feet. Values high in the range are
used with tougher or denser rocks and
greater depth. Lower values are used when
blasting individual boulders or outcrop-
pings. Table 10-5 compares densities and
toughness of common rocks.
Rock blasting by internal charges is most
effective when there is a free face approxi-
mately parallel to the borehole. The
detonation of the explosive creates a high
gas pressure in the charge hole, generating a
compressive strain pulse in the surrounding
rock. The compressive pulse travels outward
in all directions. Near the hole, the
amplitude of the strain pulse is sufficient to
crush the rock. Amplitude decays rapidly as
the pulse travels outward until it can no
longer crush the rock. The pulse travels out-
ward until it is reected from a free surface
as a tensile strain pulse. As rock is much
Figure 10-18. Excavation Rock Blasting.
DRILLING FACE
WORKING OR FREE FACE
BOREHOLE
BENCH
EXCAVATION FLOOR
(PROJECT DEPTH)
L
B
B<L
INSUFFICIENT EXPLOSIVE
ENERGY RELEASE AT
BOTTOM OF HOLE
B
MAIN
FRACTURE
LINES
COLUMN LOADED
HOLE
45
STRESS PATTERN FOR A
CONCENTRATED CHARGE
IN BOTTOM OF HOLE
REFLECTED
TENSION WAVE
UNREFLECTED
COMPRESSION
WAVE
TOE
weaker in tension than compression, the
tensile pulse is able to break the rock, pro-
gressing from the free face back towards the
charge hole. The expanding gases in the
charge hole are not directly responsible for
much of the rock breakage; to some extent,
the rock is pulled apart rather than pushed
apart.
Blasting massive seaoor rock formations is
subject to constraints similar to those en-
countered in quarry blasting and similar
methods are employed. Detailed information
on rock blasting is found in publications on
mining and quarrying. For effective blasting,
it is necessary to establish a breaking or
working face at an angle to the drilling face.
The drilling face is most often the horizontal
seaoor; the working face is vertical or
inclined from the vertical by an angle of 45
degrees or less. The working face is broken
back in steps by detonating charges in rows
of holes behind the face. For cuts deeper
than the maximum practical drilling depth,
the working face is broken back in stages by
establishing intermediate oor levels, or
benches, as shown in Figure 10-18.
A working face can be established in a
ush surface by blasting out a crater with a
single charged hole, cluster of holes, or line
of holes. Empty relief holes between and
around charged holes provide free faces to
reect strain pulses and space for displaced
rock to move into. The excavation oor
and work face can be squared up by
subsequent blasting.
Boreholes can be drilled by diver-operated
jackhammers or rock drills for small
operations. For extensive drilling
operations, a spud-moored drill barge or a
submersible, crawler-mounted rock drill
should be used.
10-19 10-19
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4.4.2 Coral Blasting. Coral is difficult
Figure 10-19. Coral Blasting.
13
13
12
12
11
11
10
10
9
9
8
8
7
7
6
6
5
5
4
4
3
3
2
2
1
1
0
0
DEPTH AND WIDTH OF CUTS MADE IN CORAL WHEN BLASTING WITH CAVITY CHARGES
DEPTH AND WIDTH OF CUTS MADE IN CORAL BY STANDARD
U.S. MARK 8 DEMOLITION CHARGES
VOLUME OF CORAL REMOVED USING
9-KG (20 POUND) CHARGES
CRATER WIDTH IN FEET
CRATER WIDTH IN FEET
NUMBER OF PACKS
V
O
L
U
M
E
I
N
C
U
B
I
C
F
E
E
T
1 2 3 4 5
1
1
2
2
3
3
4
4
5
5
6
6
7
7
8
8
9
9
10
10
11
11
12
12
13
13
1
1
2
2
3
3
4
4
5
5
10
0
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
110
D
E
P
T
H
I
N
F
E
E
T
D
E
P
T
H
I
N
F
E
E
T
to blast because of its porosity. High-
velocity explosives have been successful,
but slow-detonating explosives are more
effective. Coral will clog rock drills, so
internal charges are set in powder points
(pipes driven into the formation). Powder
factors for coral are about ve pounds per
cubic foot for mushroom-shaped coral
heads, and higher for solid heads.
Demolition of an above-water coral
formation requires about three times as
much explosive as an equivalent underwater
formation, unless a well-placed, thoroughly
tamped internal charge is used. Line
charges can be used to cut trenches or
channels in coral. Figure 10-19 shows
typical results of coral blasting.
10-4.4.3 Blasting Impalements.
Removing an impaling rock or coral head is
a slow and tedious process. The charges
must be large enough to break the rock or
coral, but light enough that they do not
damage the ship or drive the impalement
further into the ship. The only feasible
procedure is to begin with very small
charges and check the results after each
shot. Charge size can be increased
incrementally if there is no hull damage, or
the same charge can be repeated until the
impalement is gradually severed or broken
away. A large internal concrete patch over
the impalement and surrounding plating
strengthens the hull against shock loading
so that larger charges can be used. The
impalement should be cut off about two
feet below the hull.
When external access to the impalement is
dangerous or impossible, the impalement is
attacked from the inside. The best
procedure is to use small charges in
shallow boreholes with interspersed relief
holes to progressively shatter the
impalement and lower it sufficiently to
clear the hull. Doors and hatches should be
open during blasting to prevent the hull from being pressurized internally by the explosive gases. It may be necessary to build a trunk around
the impalement to provide a watertight enclosure and to vent explosive gases to the atmosphere.
10-4.4.4 Setting Anchors. Anchors can be set in hard pan, coral, clay, or mud bottoms with explosives. Small charges are set near the anchor
as shown in Figure 10-20 and detonated. The anchor is lifted and dropped into the blast crater. At the same time, a quantity of loose or broken
seaoor is lifted out of the crater and some of this material will settle on the anchor. Anchors can be explosively settled into seaoors subject
to liquecation under high-frequency cyclic loading, such as clean, medium- or low-density cohesionless soils. A number of small charges
detonated sequentially, on short delay, in the vicinity of the anchor can liquefy the soil, allowing the anchor to settle into the seaoor under
its own weight.
10-4.4.5 Channeling in Soft Bottoms. Military dynamite, or other low-velocity, low-brisance explosives are best for moving soft, plastic
material. Powder points, contact charges, charges in augured or excavated holes, or hose charges in checkerboard or linear patterns are used.
Contact blasting will normally dig a channel or crater four to ve feet deep. Deeper cuts can be attained by driving powder points to the desired
channel depth, plus the distance between points. Powder factors are three to ve pounds of explosive per cubic yard of soil. Alternate points
should contain charges of different weights so that the detonation waves do not cancel one another. Soft seaoors are almost always excavated
more effectively by nonexplosive means, such as dredging or scouring.
10-20 10-20
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4.5 Concrete and Masonry Blasting.
Figure 10-20. Setting Anchors with Explosive Charges.
CHARGES ANCHOR
FIRING SYSTEM BLASTING CAP
BUOY
DETONATING CORD MADE
UP TO WORKING LINE
LIGHT LINE TO KEEP STRAIN
OFF DETONATING CORD
Concrete and masonry are blasted by the
same methods as rock. Simple concrete
dispersal requires about one pound of
explosive per cubic foot. Breaching
charges for concrete and masonry structures
are estimated by:
W = R
3
KC
where:
W = charge weight, lbs TNT
R = breaking radius, ft
= thickness for external
charges
= distance to outside surface
for internal charges
K = material factor from Table
10-6
C = tamping factor from Figure
10-21 (Page 10-22)
10-4.6 Timber and Pile Cutting. For
cutting timber, high-velocity, brisant
explosives work best, but low-velocity
explosives are effective when applied
properly. Charge weights vary as the
square of the diameter of the timber.
Empirical relationships for determining
charge weights are given below:
where:
W =
D
2
4
Untamped external charges
W =
D
2
250
Tamped internal charges
Table 10-6. Material Factor, K, for Concrete Breaching Charges.
Material R K
Poor masonry, shale, and hardpan All values 0.225
Good masonry, ordinary concrete, rock
Less than 3 ft
3 to 5 ft
5 to 7 ft
More than 7 ft
0.35
0.275
0.25
0.225
Dense concrete, first-class masonry
Less than 3 ft
3 to 5 ft
5 to 7 ft
More than 7 ft
0.45
0.375
0.325
0.275
Reinforced concrete (concrete, only; will
not cut reinforcing steel)
Less than 3 ft
3 to 5 ft
5 to 7 ft
More than 7 ft
0.70
0.55
0.50
0.425
W = charge weight, lbs TNT
D = diameter of round or least
dimension of dressed
timber, in.
For explosives other than TNT, charge
weight is determined by dividing the TNT
charge weight by the relative effectiveness
(RE) factor.
10-4.7 Reducing Underwater Shock
Wave Pressure and Impulse. Shock
waves damage structures by two different
mechanisms:
The peak shock wave pressure
exceeds the compressive strength
of the material.
The impulse causes structural elements to vibrate with their natural frequency. The deection may be great enough to cause damage.
Impulse caused vibrations can cause damage even when the peak pressure does not exceed the compressive strength of the material.
Shock wave pressure or impulse at a structure can be reduced by charge placement, bubble screens, and, in the case of multiple charges, ring
sequence.
10-21 10-21
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-4.7.1 Charge Placement. Observations
Figure 10-21. Tamping Factor, C, for Concrete Breaching Charges.
C = 4.5
C = 2.5 C = 2.0 - 2.5
C = 2.3 C = 3.5
C = 2.0 C = 1.5
C = 2.5
UNTAMPED CHARGES:
TAMPED CHARGES:
R
R R
R
R
R
R
R
t 0.3t<d<t
D
C = 1.25 C = 1.25
STEMMED PLACED IN
CENTER OF
MASS
C = 1.25 - 1.0
R
t d>t
D
R
R
FILL
Figure 10-22. Shock Wave Effects for Various Blasting Conditions.
NOTE:
620
PSI
50
PSI
29
PSI
1.4 MS
1.3 MS
2 MS
(a) 33 FT FROM 1LB CHARGE
IN FREE WATER
EXTRAPOLATED FROM DATA
FOR POINT 47 FT FROM 3LB
CHARGE IN FREE WATER
NOTE:
EXTRAPOLATED FROM DATA
FOR POINT 47 FT FROM 2LB
CHARGE IN 29 FT
3
OF ROCK
(b) 33 FT FROM 1LB
CHARGE IN ROCK
(c) 33 FT FROM 1LB CHARGE
IN FREE WATER, THROUGH
BUBBLE SCREEN
(0.043 FT
3
/SEC PER FT)
of underwater rock blasting operations have
shown that peak pressures for explosives
well packed in bore holes is much less than
that of charges in the water. Figure 10-22
compares time pressure curves 33 feet from
a one pound charge in free water and the
same sized charge in submerged rock. The
great difference in peak pressures and total
impulse indicates that a principal means of
reducing underwater shock wave effects is
to ensure that charges are not detonated while
exposed to free water. In seaoor or
obstruction blasting, internal charges should
be used. The top portions of boreholes, for
a distance of 15 times the borehole diameter,
should be left uncharged. Blasting patterns
should be arranged to avoid sympathetic
detonation and ensure that charges to be
detonated later in a ring sequence are not
exposed by rock breakage from earlier
detonations. Heavy sandbag or clay tamping
over cutting charges can signicantly reduce
shock effects in the surrounding area.
10-4.7.2 Bubble Screens. An impinging
shock wave compresses the bubbles of a
bubble screen over a period of some
milliseconds. On their subsequent re-
expansion over a period of milliseconds, the
bubbles emit new compression waves with
lower peak values. The part of the shock
wave that passes between the bubbles is
also attenuated. Increasing the number of
air bubbles increases the reduction in peak
pressure, but also increases the duration of
the pressure on the side of the bubble
screen away from the blast. Investigations
by A.T. Edwards at the Hydro-electric
Power Commission of Ontario showed that
the peak pressure 33 feet from a one pound
charge was reduced by a factor of 10 by an
intervening bubble screen produced by an
air ow of 0.043 cubic feet per second per
foot of pipe. Doubling the air ow reduced
peak pressure by a factor of 70 at the same
distance with the same charge weight. At
164 feet, the corresponding reduction
factors were 8 and 40. Three inch
diameter pipe was used in the experiments
with groups of two diametrically opposite
1
16-inch holes spaced
3
4-inch or 1
1
2 inches
apart. Figure 10-22 shows the pressure-
time history 33 feet from a one pound
charge with an intervening water curtain.
In reducing peak pressure while simultan-
eously extending the decay time, the bubble
screen redistributes but does not decrease to-
tal impulse. Bubbles screens are ineffective
in preventing damage in most cases where
the damage mechanism is primarily impulse.
10-4.7.3 Firing Sequence. In multiple-
charge, shot-delay shots, ring the charges
closest to the structure to be shielded rst
will reduce the impulse transmitted to the
structure by the delayed charges. The
impulse from the delayed charges is partly
screened off by explosion gases (and broken
rock when seaoor blasting) from earlier
charges.
10-22 10-22
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-5 PERMITS
Authorization from the appropriate eet commander is required for all underwater explosives detonations. OPNAVINST 8530.2 lists the basic
requirements to be met before using demolitions. Amplifying instructions in the 8530 series have been issued by eet commanders:
Some of the additional permits required from various Federal and local agencies are described in the following paragraphs. It may take many
months to obtain all the required permits. Planning for explosives operations should start well in advance and be coordinated carefully so that
all permits are valid over the desired time frame, and that other salvage tasks that proceed sequentially or concurrently with the explosives
operations are ready on schedule.
10-5.1 Corps of Engineers. Section 10 of the River and Harbor Act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. 1151; 33 U.S.C. 403) prohibits the obstruction
or alteration of any navigable water of the United States without authorization from the Secretary of the Army. Requirements for and limitations
of permits are described in Title 33 of the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (33 CFR), Article 209.120. Detailed information concerning the
permits required for a specic project can be obtained from the local Corps of Engineers Office, or from the Department of the Army, Office
of the Chief of Engineers, Washington D.C., 20314.
10-5.2 Environmental Impact Statement. Explosives projects that may have an adverse effect on the environment may require the ling of
an Environmental Impact Statement. Information on the ling of the statement is found in OPNAVINST 5090.1 (series).
10-5.3 State and Local Agencies. The number and kind of permits required for explosives operations varies widely from location to location.
A partial listing of agencies that may require permits includes:
State Fish and Game Commission.
State Lands Commission.
State Oil and Gas Commission.
State Environmental Commission, Department of Environmental Management, Environmental Protection Agency, or similar agency.
County Board of Supervisors.
Local police or sheriff.
Fire Marshal.
City Engineer.
10-6 OPERATIONAL NOTES
10-6.1 Test Shots. Because of the imprecise nature of charge weight and blast effect calculations, test shots should always be made before,
or at the beginning of an explosives job. Test shots are made to determine two quantities:
The minimum charge weight required to perform the task.
The maximum charge weight that will not cause unacceptable damage to the casualty, nearby structures, or the environment.
Tests to determine minimum charge weight should be conducted well before the operation at an explosives range or remote site.
The maximum acceptable charge weight is estimated by calculation and veried by on-site test shots. Test shots are usually conducted as the
rst working shots. Test shots start with charges lighter than those calculated for the job, gradually increasing the charge weights until the
minimum charge weight to perform the task is reached, or blast effects become unacceptable.
10-23 10-23
S0300-A8-HBK-010
10-6.2 Explosives Expertise. The importance of seeking the advice of experienced hands for explosives projects cannot be overemphasized.
There is no program in the U.S. Navy to train or certify salvage demolitions specialists. Navy rst class divers and diving officers receive
limited explosives demolitions training. Explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) divers and special warfare swimmers (SEAL) receive additional
training in specialized procedures that are not always applicable to salvage. The particular demolitions expertise of a Navy diver is a function
of on-the-job experience that may vary from extensive to none. In the absence of personnel experienced in salvage demolitions, advice may
be sought from Navy Mobile Construction Battalions or the Army Corps of Engineers. Commercial explosives consultants may be retained
through the Supervisor of Salvage.
10-6.3 U.S. Military Explosives. A wide variety of explosives in various types of demolition charges are maintained "in the system" for use
by military forces. These explosives and charges are described in the Navy technical manuals Use of Explosives in Underwater Salvage
(NAVSEA-SW061-AA-MMA-010) and Demolition Materials (NAVSEA OP 2212) and the Army eld manual Explosives and Demolitions (FM
5-25). A summary of the characteristics of U.S. Military explosives is given in Table 10-7.
Table 10-7. Characteristics of Military Explosives.
Explosive Typical Uses
Rate of Detonation
(Feet per Second)
Relative Effectiveness as
an External Charge
(TNT = 1.00)*
Intensity of
Toxic Fumes
Water
Resistance
Amatol Bursting Charge 16,000 fps 1.17 Dangerous Poor
Ammonium Nitrate
Cratering Charge and
Composition Explosives
8,900 fps 0.42 Dangerous None
Black Powder Time Blasting Fuse 1,300 fps 0.55 Dangerous None
Composition A-3
Booster Charge and Bursting
Charge
26,500 fps 1.26 Dangerous Good
Composition B Bursting Charge 25,600 fps 1.35 Dangerous Excellent
Composition C-3 Demolition Charge 25,000 fps 1.26 Dangerous Good
Composition C-4 Demolition Charge 26,500 fps 1.26 Dangerous Excellent
HBX-1 and HBX-3 Demolition Charge 24,300 fps
Air 1.48
Underwater 1.68
Dangerous Excellent
H-6 Demolition Charge 24,300 fps
Air 1.48
Underwater 1.68
Dangerous Excellent
Pentolite 50/50
Booster Charge and Bursting
Charge
24,600 fps 1.26 Dangerous Excellent
PETN
Detonating Cord, Blasting Cap,
and Demolition Charge
26,000 fps 1.66 Dangerous Excellent
RDX
Blasting Caps, Composition
Explosives
27,400 fps 1.60 Dangerous Excellent
Tetryl
Booster Charge and
Composition Explosives
23,300 fps 1.25 Dangerous Excellent
Tetrytol 75/25 Demolition Charge 23,000 fps 1.20 Dangerous Excellent
TNT
Demolition Charge and
Composition Explosives
22,500 fps 1.00 Dangerous Excellent
*TNT is used as the standard (TNT = 1.00) for comparison of the effectiveness of other explosives.
10-6.4 Commercial Explosives. A variety of commercial explosives and explosive devices are available, including highly effective custom-
made steel cutting charges, liquid explosives, gelatins, etc. The Supervisor of Salvage should be contacted if the use of commercial explosives
is indicated.
10-24 10-24