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Personnel responsible for laboratory protection at some plants are required to participate in exercises simulating a breach of security at the site. This document reports a metallurgical investigation of blank firing adapters (BFA), one of which exploded during such a training exercise. Determination of the cause of the explosion was the primary objective of the examination. Metallographic studies included the examination of BFAs fabricated from two different types of alloys that were tested for shock reaction. Optical microscopy supported by electron microscopy and analytical methods were used. Our investigation supports the supposition that a live round of ammunition was inadvertently fired.

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R. J. Gray, C. W. Houck, Metallurgical Examinations of a Fragmented Blank Firing Adapter and Associated Components from an M-16 Rifle, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Improper Maintenance, Repair, and Operating Conditions, ASM International, 2019,

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