Many thanks to Ry who did the video work (including most of this page), as well as helping with the tests.
631 is a particular type of FlashTek explosive which is impact sensitive and can be reliably detonated with a centerfire rifle. This explosive was used to disperse and vaporize the fuel (ordinary gasoline). It was hoped that it would also ignite the fuel but the high temperatures are very short lived. Therefore additional materials were experimented with to provide an ignition source after the fuel was mixed with the air.
With 1 gallon of gasoline on top of 1 pint of 631 +:
WMV compilation: windows only
Further tests with a slightly different explosive mixture and configuration. We used a quart of explosives instead of a pint and we put the Ti powder (actually 90% Ti, 6% Vn, 4% Al, -18 +120 Mesh) in the either the middle of the explosives or at the bottom. Then we put a gallon of gasoline (10% ethanol) behind the explosives. We were five for five in the tests.
Click on the picture to see the video.
Ti was in the middle of the HE. Notice the sparks exiting the area.
Ti was at the bottom. As it was for the rest of the tests.
Wanting to get a high resolution picture of a fireball I took my daughter Kim and her cousin Lacey out for some tests. Kim ran the rifle, the video camera was on a tripod, and I had the still camera. Lacey provided the additional sound effects.
The picture above was taken in daylight with some cloud cover. The light from the fire was so bright that it made the ground appear dark as the camera adjusted for the intensity. This used four gallons of gasoline (one gallon behind, one on each side and one on top) and four pounds of explosives. The shooter, daughter Kim, was about 100 feet away and was accompanied by her cousin Lacey (HOLY SHIT!) in the "giggle fit" after the fireball goes up.
Here is what they wrote about their experience.
Last update: February 16, 2003
Email: Joe Huffman