Deflagration-to-detonation transition in porous energetic materials: A comparative model study

Shaojie Xu, D. Scott Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A numerical study of deflagration-to-detonation transition (DDT) in porous HMX materials is carried out. Three reactive-flow models varying from single phase to three phase formulations are chosen for the study. The GISPA model is a single-phase model and the BKS model is a simplified two-phase, gas and solid model. The SVG model is a three-phase model which is based on evolution of solid, gas and void. The modeling assumptions made in construction of the SVG model are presented with a brief description of the other two models. In addition to hydrodynamic modeling, a new reaction-kinetics model, or rate law, is presented to model energy release. The rate law accounts for autocatalytic decomposition of HMX and the pressure dependent shock-to-detonation transition kinetics. The model results are compared in detail against the DDT events observed in physical experiments. Numerical simulation of inert compaction waves and DDT is carried out for parameters suitable for powered HMX. The simulation shows that all three models can effectively predict: (a) the formation of secondary compaction wave and a high-density plug, (b) initiation of the transition to detonation in the front of the plug, and (c) survival of the plug residual after the detonation. The SVG model compares the best against the measurable data of the physical experiment and is also computationally efficient and well-posed. Therefore it is a good candidate for multi-dimensional DDT calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)143-172
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Engineering Mathematics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 1997


  • Deflagration
  • Detonation
  • Energetic materials
  • Porous materials

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Mathematics
  • General Engineering


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