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Ferroelectric polymers (PVDF) with well-defined and precisely known electrical properties are now routinely available from commercial sources. Electrical processing with the Bauer cyclic poling method can produce individual films with well-defined remanent polarization up to 9 /spl mu/C/cm/sup 2/. These polymers provide an unusual opportunity to study the structure and physical properties of materials subjected to shock loading. The behavior of PVDF has been studied over a wide range of pressures using high-pressure shock loading and has yielded well-behaved, reproducible data up to 25 GPa in inert materials. The application of PVDF gauges for recording shock waves induced in polar materials such as Kel-F, PMMA, or in reactive materials is hampered by observations of anomalous responses due to shock-induced polarization or an electrical charge released inside a shock-compressed explosive. A solution using an appropriate electrical shielding has been identified and applied to PVDF for shock measurement studies of Kel-F, and for Hugoniot measurements of high explosives (PH). Furthermore, shock pressure profiles obtained with in situ PVDF gauges in porous HE (Formex) in a detonation regime have been achieved. Typical results of shock pressure profile versus time show a fast superpressure of a few nanoseconds followed by a pressure release down to a plateau level and then by a pressure decay. More accurate measurements are reported with electrically improved PVDF gauges as well as with 0.25 mm/sup 2/ active area PVDF gauges.