The Use of Rigid Polyurethane Foam as a Landmine Breaching Technique
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The results of a feasibility test using Rigid Polyurethane Foam (RPF) as an operational antipersonnel mine counter-mine technique are presented. RPF, at a given density and thickness, can withstand the explosive effects of anti-personnel blast mines and mitigate or neutralize the effects of surface laid anti-vehicular mines. A 12-inch thick, 4 pound per cubic foot foam block completely contained a 10-gram explosive charge of PETN while a 30-inch foam block with the same density contained a 30-gram charge. A 24-inch thick pad supported 50 passes of an M88A2 Recovery Vehicle, crushing the foam no more than 2-3 inches throughout the length of a 56 foot foam roadway. Underneath this roadway, simulated land mines set at 14 psi were not triggered by the passage of an M88A2 and a HMMWV. Our experiments indicate that RPF can provide additional traction in muddy conditions and set-off explosives connected to trip wires. The pressure and trafficability experiments were conducted jointly with Sandia National Laboratories and the Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, MS in July-August 1997, and the explosive experiments were conducted by Sandia National Laboratories at the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center (EMRTC), Socorro, NM in August and October 1997.
1998-04 Proceedings of the Third International Symposium on Technology and the Mine Problem