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Title: A gun based test method to simulate mine blast against boots
Author: Pinto, R. K.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5989 6454
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2016
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Blast mines have played a major role in almost every conflict from the two world wars to the most recent skirmishes. They provide a psychological threat in addition to denying access to areas and exerting a huge toll on the logistic and medical capabilities in conflict zones. Due to the lack of inexpensive and reliable mechanical technique that would work consistently and without the danger of mines being missed, human deminers are often preferred. This means that deminers are under constant threat of serious traumatic injuries to lower extremities, potentially leading to amputation and death. A limited number of studies have been published in the open literature regarding the performance of boots both commercially available and those that are specifically designed to deal with anti – personnel mines. The issue with these studies is that while they have followed a common test method, they have been unable to agree on the variables involved. This has resulted in studies that produce vastly different results making them difficult to compare. However, while all of them have concluded that none of the commercial boots tested provided adequate protection against even a small mine, there have been varied results observed with respect to certain mine resistant boots with some reporting adequate protection while others reporting outright failure. Blast testing involves a large number of variables making it difficult to produce repeatable, consistent and conclusive results, and therefore difficult to prove the claims of different boots. The aim of the research project was i) to investigate the reliability and reproducibility of current blast test methods while testing the performance of commercially available boots and ii) to develop a new test method that is able to replicate the performance of blast test methods that is capable of producing more consistent and reproducible results while being cheaper, quicker and flexible. To address these challenges, blast testing was conducted using a variety of commercially available boots – i) to test their performance and if the results observed line up with the literature and ii) to obtain baseline data for further analysis. Blast testing demonstrated that none of the commercially available boots offer adequate protection even against a small mine. They additionally highlighted issues with this type of testing regarding their accuracy and repeatability. This was compared to an analysis of the effect that foams have on reducing loads, which showed that by increasing the number of layers it was possible to reduce the loads measured. However, the total impulse measured remained the same irrespective of the foam thickness. The baseline data from the blast test was used to develop a new gun based test in order to address the limitation observed during blast testing. The final version of this test was able to match the performance of the blast test while being able to produce penetration. A subsection of the research tested the effectiveness of socks as a means of preventing contamination. Two different types of socks were used in three different arrangements and testing revealed that socks have a positive effect on preventing contamination.
Supervisor: Horsfall, I. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available