Enrico Mattei, the President of the Italian oil conglomerate, was about to land in Milan Linate Airport, when his airplane crashed on the ground due to a then unexplained accident. The investigation, reopened more than 30 years later, implied complete re-examining of the theories on macroscopic and lattice deformations under high velocity waves emanating from a small charge explosion.
At the microstructural level multiple slip bands or mechanical twins, induced from the pressure wave caused by an explosion, can be observed, depending on the type of metal, the pressure and the strain rate. Different situations regarding stainless steels, aluminium, copper and gold alloys are analysed.
Calculations and results of field explosion experiments are incorporated into the evaluation of microstructural signs possibly induced on metal targets by an unknown explosive event.
Revisited theories were applied to this forensic case, reaching the conclusion that the aircraft had fallen following an …