| Brisance is a measure of the rapidity with which an explosive develops its maximum pressure.
In addition to strength, explosive materials display a second characteristic, which is their shattering effect or brisance (from the French briser, to break), which is distinguished from their total work capacity. This characteristic is of practical importance in determining the effectiveness of an explosion in fragmenting shells, bomb casings, grenades, structures, and the like.
A brisant explosive is one in which the maximum pressure is attained so rapidly that a shock wave is formed, and the net effect is to shatter (by shock resonance) the material surrounding or in contact with the supersonic detonation wave created by this explosive. Thus brisance is a measure of the shattering ability of an explosive.
The sand crush test is commonly employed to determine the relative brisance in comparison to TNT. No single test is capable of directly comparing the explosive properties of two or more compounds; it is important to examine the data from several such tests (sand crush, trauzl, and so forth) in order to gauge relative brisance. True values for comparison will require field experiments.
One of the most brisant of the conventional explosives is cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (also known as RDX).
- ↑ TM 9-1300-214, US Army
- Initial version taken from now-unavailable U.S. Military public domain resource here