Ab initio studies of equations of state and chemical reactions of reactive structural materials
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The motivations for the research issues addressed in this thesis are based on the needs of the aerospace structural analysis and the design community. The specific focus is related to the characterization and shock induced chemical reactions of multi-functional structural-energetic materials that are also know as the reactive structural materials and their reaction capabilities. Usually motivation for selection of aerospace structural materials is to realize required strength characteristics and favorable strength to weight ratios. The term strength implies resistance to loads experienced during the service life of the structure, including resistance to fatigue loads, corrosion and other extreme conditions. Thus, basically the structural materials are single function materials that resist loads experienced during the service life of the structure. However, it is desirable to select materials that are capable of offering more than one basic function of strength. Very often, the second function is the capability to provide functions of sensing and actuation. In this thesis, the second function is different. The second function is the energetic characteristics. Thus, the choice of dual functions of the material are the structural characteristics and energetic characteristics. These materials are also known by other names such as the reactive material structures or dual functional structural energetic materials. Specifically the selected reactive materials include mixtures of selected metals and metal oxides that are also known as thermite mixtures, reacting intermetallic combinations and oxidizing materials. There are several techniques that are available to synthesize these structural energetic materials or reactive material structures and new synthesis techniques constitute an open research area. The focus of this thesis, however, is the characterization of chemical reactions of reactive material structures that involve two or more solids (or condensed matter). The subject of studies of the shock or thermally induced chemical reactions of the two solids comprising these reactive materials, from first principles, is a relatively new field of study. The published literature on ab initio principles or quantum mechanics based approach contains the ab initio or ab initio-molecular dynamics studies in related fields of a solid and a gas. One such study in the literature involves a gas and a solid. This is an investigation of the adsorption of gasses such as carbon monoxide (CO) on Tungsten. The motivation for these studies is to synthesize alternate or synthetic fuel technology by Fischer-Tropsch process. In this thesis these studies are first to establish the procedure for solid-solid reaction and then to extend that to consider the effects of mechanical strain and temperature on the binding energy and chemisorptions of CO on tungsten. Then in this thesis, similar studies are also conducted on the effect of mechanical strain and temperature on the binding energies of Titanium and hydrogen. The motivations are again to understand the method and extend the method to such solid-solid reactions. A second motivation is to seek strained conditions that favor hydrogen storage and strain conditions that release hydrogen easily when needed. Following the establishment of ab initio and ab initio studies of chemical reactions between a solid and a gas, the next step of research is to study thermally induced chemical reaction between two solids (Ni+Al). Thus, specific new studies of the thesis are as follows: 1. Ab initio Studies of Binding energies associated with chemisorption of (a) CO on W surfaces (111, and 100) at elevated temperatures and strains and (b) adsorption of hydrogen in titanium base. 2. Equations of state of mixtures of reactive material structures from ab initio methods 3. Ab initio studies of the reaction initiation, transition states and reaction products of intermetallic mixtures of (Ni+Al) at elevated temperatures and strains. 4. Press-cure synthesis of Nano-nickel and nano-aluminum based reactive material structures and DTA tests to study experimentally initiation of chemical reactions, due to thermal energy input.