The chemical and mechanical behaviors of polymer / reactive metal systems under high strain rates
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As one category of energetic materials, impact-initiated reactive materials are able to release a high amount of stored chemical energy under high strain rate impact loading, and are used extensively in civil and military applications. In general, polymers are introduced as binder materials to trap the reactive metal powders inside, and also act as an oxidizing agent for the metal ingredient. Since critical attention has been paid on the metal / metal reaction, only a few types of polymer / reactive metal interactions have been studied in the literature. With the higher requirement of materials resistant to different thermal and mechanical environments, the understanding and characterization of polymer / reactive metal interactions are in great demand. In this study, PTFE (Polytetrafluoroethylene) 7A / Ti (Titanium) composites were studied under high strain rates by utilizing the Taylor impact and SHPB tests. Taylor impact tests with different impact velocities, sample dimensions and sample configurations were conducted on the composite, equipped with a high-speed camera for tracking transient images during the sudden process. SHPB and Instron tests were carried out to obtain the stress vs. strain curves of the composite under a wide range of strain rates, the result of which were also utilized for fitting the constitutive relations of the composite based on the modified Johnson-Cook strength model. Thermal analyses by DTA tests under different flow rates accompanied with XRD identification were conducted to study the reaction mechanism between PTFE 7A and Ti when only heat was provided. Numerical simulations on Taylor impact tests and microstructural deformations were also performed to validate the constitutive model built for the composite system, and to investigate the possible reaction mechanism between two components. The results obtained from the high strain rate tests, thermal analyses and numerical simulations were combined to provide a systematic study on the reaction mechanism between PTFE and Ti in the composite systems, which will be instructive for future energetic studies on other polymer / reactive metal systems.