Dynamic fracture and hot-spot modeling in energetic composites

Nicolò Grilli, Camilo A. Duarte, Marisol Koslowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


Defects such as cracks, pores, and particle-matrix interface debonding affect the sensitivity of energetic materials by reducing the time-to-ignition and the threshold pressure to initiate an explosion. Frictional sliding of preexisting cracks is considered to be one of the most important causes of localized heating. Therefore, understanding the dynamic fracture of crystalline energetic materials is of extreme importance to assess the reliability and safety of polymer-bonded explosives. Phase field damage model simulations, based on the regularization of the crack surface as a diffuse delta function, are used to describe crack propagation in cyclotetramethylene-tetranitramine crystals embedded in a Sylgard matrix. A thermal transport model that includes heat generation by friction at crack interfaces is coupled to the solution of crack propagation. 2D and 3D dynamic compression simulations are performed with different boundary velocities and initial distributions of cracks and interface defects to understand their effect on crack propagation and heat generation. It is found that, at an impact velocity of 400 m/s, localized damage at the particle-binder interface is of key importance and that the sample reaches temperatures high enough to create a hot-spot that will lead to ignition. At an impact velocity of 10 m/s, preexisting cracks advanced inside the particle, but the increase of temperature will not cause ignition.

Original languageEnglish
Article number065101
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2018


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