Non-equilibrium Thermomechanics of Multifunctional Energetic Structural Materials
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Shock waves create a unique environment of high pressure, high temperature and high strain-rates. It has been observed that chemical reactions that occur in this regime are exothermic and can lead to the synthesis of new materials that are not possible under other conditions. The exothermic reaction is used in the development of binary energetic materials. These materials are of significant interest to the energetic materials community because of its capability of releasing high heat content during a chemical reaction and the relative insensitivity of these types of energetic materials. Synthesis of these energetic materials, at nano grain sizes with structural reinforcements, provides an opportunity to develop a dual functional material with both strength and energetic characteristics. Shock-induced chemical reactions pose challenges in experiment and instrumentation. This thesis is addressed to the theoretical development of constitutive models of shock-induced chemical reactions in energetic composites, formulated in the framework of non-equilibrium thermodynamics and mixture theories, in a continuum scale. Transition state-based chemical reaction models are introduced and incorporated with the conservation equations that can be used to calculate and simulate the shock-induced reaction process. The energy that should be supplied to reach the transition state has been theoretically modeled by considering both the pore collapse mechanism and the plastic flow with increasing yield stress behind the shock wave. A non-equilibrium thermodynamics framework and the associated evolution equations are introduced to account for time delays that are observed in the experiments of shock-induced or assisted chemical reactions. An appropriate representation of the particle size effects is introduced by modifying the initial energy state of the reactants. Numerical results are presented for shock-induced reactions of mixtures of Al, Fe2O3 and Ni, Al with epoxy as the binder. The theoretical model, in the continuum scale, requires parameters that should be experimentally determined. The experimental characterization has many challenges in measurement and development of nano instrumentation. An alternate approach to determine these parameters is through ab-initio calculations. Thus, this thesis has initiated ab-initio molecular dynamics studies of shock-induced chemical reactions. Specifically, the case of thermal initiation of chemical reactions in aluminum and nickel is considered.