Hot spot ignition and growth from tandem micro-scale simulations and experiments on plastic-bonded explosives

Shobhan Roy, Belinda P. Johnson, Xuan Zhou, Yen T. Nguyen, Dana D. Dlott, H. S. Udaykumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Head-to-head comparisons of multiple experimental observations and numerical simulations on a deconstructed plastic-bonded explosive consisting of an octahydro-1,3,5,7-tetranitro-1,3,5,7-tetrazocine crystal embedded in a polymeric binder with a 4 ns duration 20 GPa input shock are presented. Hot spots observed in high-resolution direct numerical simulations are compared with micro-scale shock-induced reactions visualized using nanosecond microscope imaging and optical pyrometry. Despite the challenges and limitations of both the experimental and simulation techniques, an agreement is obtained on many of the observed features of hot spot evolution, e.g., (1) the magnitude and time variation of temperatures in the hot spots, (2) the time to fully consume the crystals (∼100 ns) of size (100-300 μm) employed in this study, and (3) the locations of hot spot initiation and growth. Three different mechanisms of hot spot formation are indicated by simulations: (1) high-temperature hot spots formed by pore collapse, (2) lower temperature hot spots initiated at the polymer-crystal interface near corners and asperities, and (3) high-temperature reaction waves leading to fast consumption of the energetic crystal. This first attempt at a head-to-head comparison between experiments and simulations not only provides new insight but also highlights efforts needed to bring models and experiments into closer alignment, in particular, highlighting the importance of distinctly three-dimensional and multiple mechanisms of the hot spot ignition and growth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number205901
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number20
StatePublished - May 28 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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