An investigation of energy efficiency in electrical explosion of aluminum metallized film
Olabisi, Olorunishola O.
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Energy does not always exist in a form that is readily usable for a specific purpose; therefore, there is often a necessity to convert energy from one form to a more usable form. Electrical exploding film, a process to rapidly (from nanosecond to microsecond) convert stored electrical energy to plasma, shock wave energy and heat was studied and discussed. Electrical exploding film is widely used in many applications because it is a source of high density energy which can be deliberately controlled. The released energy pulse is used for optical pumping of lasers, shock waves to fracture ice, released heat to join ceramic tiles and current interruption in opening switches for pulsed power systems. The overall goal of this research was to investigate mechanisms by which the energy dissipated in the exploding film phenomenon can be controlled. To achieve this goal, a parallel was drawn between exploding wire and exploding film, and circuit inductance was identified as the parameter of choice to control the transfer of the available energy to the load. Typically, the stored energy can be converted to heat, arc or plasma and shock wave through the exploding film process. The aim of this research was to increase the amount of stored energy converted to heat while reducing the amount of stored energy converted to plasma and shockwave. A series of experiments were conducted where stored energy in a capacitor was discharged through a metalized polypropylene film. To investigate the effect of inductance, the discharge circuit inductance was varied from 3.4 μH to 62.6 mH. The change in discharge circuit inductance resulted in an increase in the amount of stored energy converted to heat from 13% to 63%. This research creates a framework by which the conversion of electrical energy to other usable forms of energy through electric explosion of aluminum film can be further understood. Experimental results presented can be used as a guide in fuzing research and other applications that utilize electrical exploding film.