Slapper detonator

Slapper Detonator

Slapper detonator

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A slapper detonator, also called exploding foil initiator (EFI), is a relatively recent kind of a detonator developed in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It is an improvement of the earlier exploding-bridgewire detonator; instead of directly coupling the shock wave from the exploding wire, the expanding plasma from an explosion of a metal foil drives another thin plastic or metal foil called a "flyer" or a "slapper" across a gap, and its high-velocity impact on the explosive (for example, PETN or hexanitrostilbene) then delivers the energy and shock needed to initiate a detonation. Normally all the slapper's kinetic energy is supplied only by the heating (and hence expansion) of the plasma (the former foil) by the current passing through it, though constructions with a "back strap" to further drive the plasma forward by magnetic field exist too. This assembly is quite efficient; up to 30% of the electrical energy can be converted to the slapper's kinetic energy.

The initial explosion is usually caused by explosive vaporization of a thin metal wire or strip, by driving several thousands amperes of electric current through it, usually from a capacitor charged to several thousands volts. The switching may be done by a spark gap or a krytron.

Usually the construction consists of an explosive booster pellet, against which a disk with a hole in the center is set. Over the other side of the disk, there is a layer of an insulating film, for...
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