U.S. Department of Energy


Date of this Version



International Journal of Impact Engineering 38 (2011) 480e485;



The intense magnetic field generated by the Z accelerator at Sandia National Laboratories is used as a pressure source for material science studies. A current of ∼20 MA can be delivered to the loads used in experiments on a time scale of ∼100-600 ns. Magnetic fields (pressures) exceeding 1200 T (600 GPa) have been produced in planar configurations. In one application we have developed, the magnetic pressure launches a flyer plate to ultra-high velocity in a plate impact experiment; equation of state data is obtained on the Hugoniot of a material that is shock compressed to multi-megabar pressure. This capability has been enhanced by the recent development of a planar stripline configuration that increases the magnetic pressure for a given current. Furthermore, the cross sectional area of a stripline flyer plate is larger than in previous coaxial loads; this improves the planarity of the flyer thereby reducing measurement uncertainty. Results of experiments and multi-dimensional magneto hydrodynamic (MHD) simulation are presented for ultra-high velocity aluminum and copper flyer plates. Aluminum flyer plates with dimensions ∼25 mm by ∼13 mm by ∼1 mm have been launched to velocities up to ∼45 km/s; for copper the peak velocity is ∼22 km/s. The significance of these results is that part of the flyer material remains solid at impact with the target; an accomplishment that is made possible by shaping the dynamic pressure (current) ramp so that the flyer compresses quasi-isentropically (i.e., shocklessly) during acceleration.