Electrical explosion of segmented wires

Y. Me-Bar, R. Harel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The phenomena occurring during the electrical explosion of segmented wires are described. It was observed that with a wire of varying thickness, the smaller diameter parts explode first, ejecting metal vapor radially. Breakdown occurs through the vapor, creating current carrying channels which bypass the larger diameter parts of the wire. This may result, in some cases, in the larger diameter parts not exploding at all. Only slight deformations occur at their ends. On the boundary between the exploding and nonexploding sections of the wire, such deformations may cause the evolution of an accelerated slug, similar to that of a "self-forging fragment." The phenomenon of the current bypassing metallic parts may offer an explanation to the way the "segmented diverters" work on a lightning stricken aircraft radome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1864-1868
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 15 Feb 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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