Non-Pyrotechnic Explosion Simulation
S*R is developing a modular approach to non-pyrotechnic explosion
simulation employing microprocessor-controlled electromechanical
hardware which duplicates the effect of pyrotechnics at reduced cost
and greater safety.
• Flash is produced by a xenon flashlamp, directed into the
smoke cloud, to give the appearance of an actual explosion.
• Bang (a shock wave) is produced by a shock tube driven by
• Smoke is produced by entraining non-toxic, non-flammable
smoke powder in the air blast from the shock tube. A variety of
colors are available.
This approach offers several advantages over pyrotechnics:
• There is no fire hazard, as no flammable materials are used.
• Cost per shot is much lower than pyrotechnics.
• Flash, bang, and smoke levels can be independently tailored to
• The Sound Pressure Level (SPL) of the bang can be closely
controlled to comply with safety requirements.
S*R has developed two approaches, one using single-shot cartridges,
and the other using a high speed valve to excite the shock tube. The
cartridge approach offers the advantages of simpler equipment, and
the ability to mix cartridges for different effects. The high speed
valve approach offers unattended operation and the lowest cost per
shot, since the only consumable is smoke powder.
A brassboard Non-pyrotechnic A/V Cueing device was completed and
demonstrated in the spring of 1998. The brassboard high speed valve
successfully completed a 1,000 shot durability test late in 1997.
S*R has received a U.S. Patent on the basic principle of the
Non-pyrotechnic A/V Cue and a patent application is in progress for
the high speed valve incorporated in the present design.
Brochure: In-depth description
Hydrodynamic processing (HDP), the tenderizing of meat by the use of
shock waves, has been demonstrated, and steps have been taken to
commercialize the process. Using the HDP that is developed to date,
the meat is wrapped in plastic and immersed in a tank filled with
water, in which the shock wave is then produced by a small amount of
high explosive. The need for explosives and the additional cost of
shrink wrapping and unwrapping the meat are both barriers to
commercial acceptance of HDP.
Tests conducted by Spectra Research in conjunction with the U S
Department of Agriculture Food Technology and Safety Laboratory have
shown that S*R non-pyrotechnic shock wave generation technology
shows significant potential for tenderizing meat without the use of
explosives. Moreover, the Spectra Research tenderizing technique
does not require the meat to be immersed in water, so the meat does
not need to be sealed in plastic for the process. Tenderness
improvements of as much as 55%, as indicated by Warner-Bratzler
shear force, have been demonstrated in beef. These results are
comparable with explosive HDP.
Spectra Research, Inc. has signed a Cooperative Research and
Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U S Department of Agriculture
Food Technology and Safety Laboratory to pursue development of the
process. A U.S. patent application has also been filed.
None to date