Elasticity of Crystalline Molecular Explosives

DE Hooks and KJ Ramos and CA Bolme and MJ Cawkwell, PROPELLANTS EXPLOSIVES PYROTECHNICS, 40, 333-350 (2015).

DOI: 10.1002/prep.201400282

Crystalline molecular explosives are key components of engineered explosive formulations. In precision applications a high degree of consistency and predictability is desired under a range of conditions to a variety of stimuli. Prediction of behaviors from mechanical response and failure to detonation initiation and detonation performance of the material is linked to accurate knowledge of the material structure and first stage of deformation: elasticity. The elastic response of pentaerythritol tetranitrate (PETN), cyclotrimethylene trinitramine (RDX), and cyclotetramethylene tetranitramine (HMX), including aspects of material and measurement variability, and computational methods are described in detail. Experimental determinations of elastic tensors are compared, and an evaluation of sources of error is presented. Computed elastic constants are also compared for these materials and for triaminotrinitrobenzene (TATB), for which there are no measurements.

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