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I am trying to find a way to limit the effect that detonation of an explosive gas, introduced into a confined space would have when detonated. Can one introduce some form of panelized material or construction that would work to minimize the effect of the initial explosion and shockwave resulting from such?

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closed as off-topic by Brandon Enright, John Rennie, Rob Jeffries, Kyle Kanos, Qmechanic Nov 8 '14 at 13:57

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  • "This question appears to be about engineering, which is the application of scientific knowledge to construct a solution to solve a specific problem. As such, it is off topic for this site, which deals with the science, whether theoretical or experimental, of how the natural world works. For more information, see this meta post." – Brandon Enright, John Rennie, Rob Jeffries, Qmechanic
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As an experimentalist I look at this problem by making a mental list. Maybe start with how can I get rid of the kinetic energy? Deform or bend something? Compress something a lot denser, like a spring? Turn it into heat? Turn it into mechanical energy and shake something outside the box? Frequency shift? Cancel with superposition using another source of energy? Reflect/refract around a protected area? Slow down the pressure change with screens and filters? etc. Then start refining - look for simple solutions or ways to use materials, techniques, devices. Thought experiments then start testing. – C. Towne Springer Apr 25 '14 at 8:50
Since the shockwave is similar to a sound wave, you could start with material designed for damping sound and adjust it for greater pressures. – LDC3 Nov 8 '14 at 3:26
As a practical matter an automobile muffler is designed to do exactly what you are asking for, thought works on pressure waves that are less extreme then those most people mean by "explosion". – dmckee Nov 8 '14 at 3:42
Are you hoping to limit the damage from one explosion or many? In other words, does the material need to survive intact, or can it be damaged? The second provides more options. – Ross Millikan Nov 8 '14 at 4:04

The energy must be spread in time and space. It can be absorbed in a phase transition so that PV (101.325 J/liter-atm) becomes latent heat (immersion in fire-fighting foam blunts explosions). Thinking long term, Google "foamed aluminum." The tough matrix collapses in on itself, absorbing energy in ductile deformation. Give it a tensile backing like tightly woven Kevlar or Spectra, perhaps in its own tough matrix.

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I think it is hard to absorb the energy in phase transitions, but my first thought is acoustic impedance mismatches and foams are very good at that. – Ross Millikan Nov 8 '14 at 4:03

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