HERMES: A Model to Describe Deformation, Burning, Explosion, and Detonation

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HERMES (High Explosive Response to MEchanical Stimulus) was developed to fill the need for a model to describe an explosive response of the type described as BVR (Burn to Violent Response) or HEVR (High Explosive Violent Response). Characteristically this response leaves a substantial amount of explosive unconsumed, the time to reaction is long, and the peak pressure developed is low. In contrast, detonations characteristically consume all explosive present, the time to reaction is short, and peak pressures are high. However, most of the previous models to describe explosive response were models for detonation. The earliest models to describe the response ... continued below

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Reaugh, J E November 22, 2011.

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Description

HERMES (High Explosive Response to MEchanical Stimulus) was developed to fill the need for a model to describe an explosive response of the type described as BVR (Burn to Violent Response) or HEVR (High Explosive Violent Response). Characteristically this response leaves a substantial amount of explosive unconsumed, the time to reaction is long, and the peak pressure developed is low. In contrast, detonations characteristically consume all explosive present, the time to reaction is short, and peak pressures are high. However, most of the previous models to describe explosive response were models for detonation. The earliest models to describe the response of explosives to mechanical stimulus in computer simulations were applied to intentional detonation (performance) of nearly ideal explosives. In this case, an ideal explosive is one with a vanishingly small reaction zone. A detonation is supersonic with respect to the undetonated explosive (reactant). The reactant cannot respond to the pressure of the detonation before the detonation front arrives, so the precise compressibility of the reactant does not matter. Further, the mesh sizes that were practical for the computer resources then available were large with respect to the reaction zone. As a result, methods then used to model detonations, known as {beta}-burn or program burn, were not intended to resolve the structure of the reaction zone. Instead, these methods spread the detonation front over a few finite-difference zones, in the same spirit that artificial viscosity is used to spread the shock front in inert materials over a few finite-difference zones. These methods are still widely used when the structure of the reaction zone and the build-up to detonation are unimportant. Later detonation models resolved the reaction zone. These models were applied both to performance, particularly as it is affected by the size of the charge, and to situations in which the stimulus was less than that needed for reliable performance, whether as a result of accident, hazard, or a fault in the detonation train. These models describe the build-up of detonation from a shock stimulus. They are generally consistent with the mesoscale picture of ignition at many small defects in the plane of the shock front and the growth of the resulting hot-spots, leading to detonation in heterogeneous explosives such as plastic-bonded explosives (PBX). The models included terms for ignition, and also for the growth of reaction as tracked by the local mass fraction of product gas, {lambda}. The growth of reaction in such models incorporates a form factor that describes the change of surface area per unit volume (specific surface area) as the reaction progresses. For unimolecular crystalline-based explosives, the form factor is consistent with the mesoscale picture of a galaxy of hot spots burning outward and eventually interacting with each other. For composite explosives and propellants, where the fuel and oxidizer are segregated, the diffusion flame at the fuel-oxidizer interface can be interpreted with a different form factor that corresponds to grains burning inward from their surfaces. The form factor influences the energy release rate, and the amount of energy released in the reaction zone. Since the 19th century, gun and cannon propellants have used perforated geometric shapes that produce an increasing surface area as the propellant burns. This helps maintain the pressure as burning continues while the projectile travels down the barrel, which thereby increases the volume of the hot gas. Interior ballistics calculations use a geometric form factor to describe the changing surface area precisely. As a result, with a suitably modified form factor, detonation models can represent burning and explosion in damaged and broken reactant. The disadvantage of such models in application to accidents is that the ignition term does not distinguish between a value of pressure that results from a shock, and the same pressure that results from a more gradual increase. This disagrees with experiments, where explosives were subjected to a gradual rise in pressure and did not exhibit reaction. More recent models do distinguish between slow pressure rises and shocks, and have had some success in the describing the response of explosives to single and multiple shocks, and the increase of shock sensitivity with porosity, at least over a limited range. The original formulation is appropriate for sustained shocks, but further work is ongoing to describe the response to short pulses. The HERMES model combines features from these prior models. It describes burning and explosion in damaged reactant, and also will develop a detonation if the gradual rise in pressure from burning steepens into a strong-enough shock. The shock strength needed for detonation in a fixed run distance decreases with increasing porosity.

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PDF-file: 26 pages; size: 1.9 Mbytes

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  • Report No.: LLNL-TR-516119
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/1033738 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1033738
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc840086

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  • November 22, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 9:25 p.m.

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Reaugh, J E. HERMES: A Model to Describe Deformation, Burning, Explosion, and Detonation, report, November 22, 2011; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc840086/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.