WHAT ARE EXPLOSIVE OR PYROTECHNIC DEVICES?
Pyrotechnic (explosive) devices are those that release considerable thermal energy in response to a small input stimulus (either electrical or mechanical). They are “one shot” devices, which means that they can only operate one time. The energy released can be used for numerous purposes, such as igniting, detonating, or pressure producing.
WHY ARE THEY USED?
- They provide the most power per unit weight.
- They have a low actuation energy requirement.
- They possess unsurpassed reliability.
- They are suitable for extreme environments.
HOW DO THEY WORK?
The majority of the CAD designs are electrically actuated. A small electrical current heats a bridge wire, exciting a contiguous sensitive pyrotechnic mix. This mix burns rapidly, propagating to a propellant, which burns, creating a pressure in a controlled volume.
Some devices use this pressure to produce a force on a moveable object (cutter, ram, etc.). This moveable object then performs a function. Other devices (such as igniters, initiators, and detonators) produce hot particles that are used to set off another pyrotechnic event.
WHAT DO THEY DO?
Pyrotechnic devices generate the most power per unit weight of any conventional actuation mechanism (such as: motors, solenoids, piezoelectric actuators, etc.). As such, they can start/stop, open/close, cut/puncture, or otherwise act upon a surface with a high degree of reliability and rapid reaction time.