Embedded particle size distribution and its effect on detonation in composite explosives

Brandon Lieberthal, D. Scott Stewart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper discusses the effects of stochastically varying inert particle parameters on the long-term behaviour of detonation front propagation. The simulation model involves a series of cylindrical high explosive unit cells, each embedded with an inert spherical particle. Detonation shock dynamics theory postulates that the velocity of the shock front in the explosive fluid is related to its curvature. In our previous work, we derived a series of partial differential equations that govern the propagation of the shock front passing over the inert particles and developed a computationally efficient simulation environment to study the model over extremely long timescales. We expand upon that project by randomising several properties of the inert particles to represent experimental designs better. First, we randomise the particle diameters according to the Weibull distribution. Then we discuss stochastic particle spacing methods and their effects on the predictability of the shock wave speed. Finally, we discuss mixtures of plastic and metal particles and material inconsistency among the particles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-392
Number of pages20
JournalCombustion Theory and Modelling
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 3 2016


  • detonation shock dynamics
  • metal-loaded high explosives
  • numerical simulation
  • stochastic behaviour
  • wave propagation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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