Shock-induced hotspot formation and chemical reaction initiation in PETN containing a spherical void

TR Shan and AP Thompson, 18TH APS-SCCM AND 24TH AIRAPT, PTS 1-19, 500, 172009 (2014).

DOI: 10.1088/1742-6596/500/17/172009

We present results of reactive molecular dynamics simulations of hotspot formation and chemical reaction initiation in shock-induced compression of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN) with the ReaxFF reactive force field. A supported shockwave is driven through a PETN crystal containing a 20 nm spherical void at a sub-threshold impact velocity of 2 km/s. Formation of a hotspot due to shock-induced void collapse is observed. During void collapse, NO2 is the dominant species ejected from the upstream void surface. Once the ejecta collide with the downstream void surface and the hotspot develops, formation of final products such as N-2 and H2O is observed. The simulation provides a detailed picture of how void collapse and hotspot formation leads to initiation at sub- threshold impact velocities.

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