Experimental and Theoretical Analyses of Explosively-Formed Fuse (EFF) Opening Switches
ABSTRACT The EFF is used at Los Alamos as the primary opening switch for high current applications. It has interrupted currents from ~10 kA to 25 MA, thus diverting the current into low inductance loads. To understand and optimize the performance of full-scale experiments, many parameters were studied in a series of small-scale experiments, including: electrical conduction through the explosive products; current density; explosive initiation; insulator type; conductor thickness; conductor metal; metal temper; and on. The results show a marked inverse correlation of peak EFF resistance with current density. In this paper we postulate and refute a simple extrusion mechanism of EFF operation; demonstrate that the EFF switch has a near-ideal profile for producing flat-topped voltage profiles; and explore possible mechanisms for the degradation of small scale switch performance.