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We have studied the dynamic spall process for copper samples in contact with detonating low-performance explosives. When a triangular shaped shock wave from detonation moves through a sample and reflects from the free surface, tension develops immediately, one or more damaged layers can form, and a spall scab can separate from the sample and move ahead of the remaining target material. For dynamic experiments, we used time-resolved velocimetry and x-ray radiography. Soft-recovered samples were analyzed using optical imaging and microscopy. Computer simulations were used to guide experiment design. We observe that for some target thicknesses the spall scab continues to run ahead of the rest of the sample, but for thinner samples, the detonation product gases accelerate the sample enough for it to impact the spall scab several microseconds or more after the initial damage formation. Our data also show signatures in the form of a late-time reshock in the time-resolved data, which support this computational prediction. A primary goal of this research was to study the wave interactions and damage processes for explosives-loaded copper and to look for evidence of this postulated recompression event. We found both experimentally and computationally that we could tailor the magnitude of the initial and recompression shocks by varying the explosive drive and the copper sample thickness; thin samples had a large recompression after spall, whereas thick samples did not recompress at all. Samples that did not recompress had spall scabs that completely separated from the sample, whereas samples with recompression remained intact. This suggests that the hypothesized recompression process closes voids in the damage layer or otherwise halts the spall formation process. This is a somewhat surprising and, in some ways controversial, result, and the one that warrants further research in the shock compression community.


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