Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Mechanical Engineering


Detonation waves are supersonic, powerful reaction waves. The power of such waves may be harnessed in explosives applications, e.g. for rock breaking in mining activities or acceleration of metal layers in defence applications. On the other hand, unplanned detonations represent an extremely dangerous explosion hazard. Here we are concerned with non-ideal explosives, which cannot be properly described by a one-dimensional theory. In a cylindrical charge of non-ideal explosives, for example, the detonation front is curved and its propagation speed (and subsequent pressures generated) is intimately linked to the diameter of the charge and to the material surrounding it (e.g. the type of rock or metal).The purpose of the proposed research is to develop a method that can quickly calculate the solution for the propagation of highly non-ideal steady detonations in a stick of explosive. At present this can only be done accurately by using very sophisticated and costly numerical simulations. The proposed method, which will be based on a maximum entropy of effective reaction theory, is novel in that it is based on a variational approach. For example, the detonation front shape and speed is to be varied, and the physical solution chosen to be the one for which a certain quantity (namely the total entropy in the detonation driving zone) is a maximum. To test and validate the theory, the results will be compared with the results of high-resolution direct numerical simulations.


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