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The Effect of Shock Waves on a Hailstone Model

Roger F. FavreauCanadian Industries Ltd., McMasterville, Canada

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Guy G. GoyerCanadian Industries Ltd., McMasterville, Canada

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Abstract

The effect of explosively generated shock waves on ice cubes has been investigated in the laboratory. Impact tests on cubes previously exposed to shock demonstrate that the action of the latter weakens the cubes, the effect being markedly greater when the latter contain a water column. The phenomenon observed is discussed in terms of the theory of shock waves; the weakening of the ice cubes appears to be plausible on the basis of shock-induced cavitations within the water columns inside them. Insofar as ice cubes containing a water column very crudely simulate hailstones, the results observed suggest the possibility that explosive shock waves might similarly weaken actual hailstones. Thus, rocketborne explosive charges could conceivably be a practical way of reducing damage from hailstorms.

Abstract

The effect of explosively generated shock waves on ice cubes has been investigated in the laboratory. Impact tests on cubes previously exposed to shock demonstrate that the action of the latter weakens the cubes, the effect being markedly greater when the latter contain a water column. The phenomenon observed is discussed in terms of the theory of shock waves; the weakening of the ice cubes appears to be plausible on the basis of shock-induced cavitations within the water columns inside them. Insofar as ice cubes containing a water column very crudely simulate hailstones, the results observed suggest the possibility that explosive shock waves might similarly weaken actual hailstones. Thus, rocketborne explosive charges could conceivably be a practical way of reducing damage from hailstorms.

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