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Title: Detonation on a tabletop: Nitromethane with high time and space resolution

Abstract

Nitromethane (NM), a flammable liquid, has been a model system for the shock-to-detonation transition in homogeneous condensed-phase explosives for over 50 years, but we do not understand the fast processes at the molecular scale in the detonation front at the molecular scale. That is largely because prior studies triggered detonations in bomb-sized charges with input shock durations and times-to detonation that were typically microseconds, which made it impossible to observe the faster processes in real time. Here, we studied NM shocked with 4 ns duration input pulses using a tabletop apparatus with laser-launched flyer plates and arrays of tiny disposable optical cuvettes, where the pressure and temperature were probed in real time (1 ns) with photon Doppler velocimetry, optical pyrometry, and high-speed video. Using a 4 ns shock with an input pressure close to the von Neumann spike pressure of 19 GPa, we achieved the minimum time-to-detonation, about 12 ns, where the time-to-detonation is controlled by fundamental molecular processes. We demonstrated the reproducibility of our detonations and showed that they had the same properties as in bomb-sized charges: our detonation velocity, von Neumann spike and Chapman-Jouguet pressures, temperatures, and reaction zone lengths were the same as in bomb-sized charges. Beingmore » able to trigger realistic reproducible detonations from a short pulse makes it possible to investigate molecular and fluid dynamics in the detonation by measuring transient responses in real time. Lastly, we found that it took 6 ns for the temperature to reach 3430 K. The high pressure was observed at about 8 ns, when there was a volume explosion to nearly twice the von Neumann spike pressure before settling down to a steady detonation .« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Krell Institute, Ames, IA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1511158
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1464855
Grant/Contract Number:  
NA0002135
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 124; Journal Issue: 7; Journal ID: ISSN 0021-8979
Publisher:
American Institute of Physics (AIP)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
71 CLASSICAL AND QUANTUM MECHANICS, GENERAL PHYSICS; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL, AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY

Citation Formats

Bhowmick, Mithun, Nissen, Erin J., and Dlott, Dana D. Detonation on a tabletop: Nitromethane with high time and space resolution. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1063/1.5043540.
Bhowmick, Mithun, Nissen, Erin J., & Dlott, Dana D. Detonation on a tabletop: Nitromethane with high time and space resolution. United States. doi:10.1063/1.5043540.
Bhowmick, Mithun, Nissen, Erin J., and Dlott, Dana D. Thu . "Detonation on a tabletop: Nitromethane with high time and space resolution". United States. doi:10.1063/1.5043540.
@article{osti_1511158,
title = {Detonation on a tabletop: Nitromethane with high time and space resolution},
author = {Bhowmick, Mithun and Nissen, Erin J. and Dlott, Dana D.},
abstractNote = {Nitromethane (NM), a flammable liquid, has been a model system for the shock-to-detonation transition in homogeneous condensed-phase explosives for over 50 years, but we do not understand the fast processes at the molecular scale in the detonation front at the molecular scale. That is largely because prior studies triggered detonations in bomb-sized charges with input shock durations and times-to detonation that were typically microseconds, which made it impossible to observe the faster processes in real time. Here, we studied NM shocked with 4 ns duration input pulses using a tabletop apparatus with laser-launched flyer plates and arrays of tiny disposable optical cuvettes, where the pressure and temperature were probed in real time (1 ns) with photon Doppler velocimetry, optical pyrometry, and high-speed video. Using a 4 ns shock with an input pressure close to the von Neumann spike pressure of 19 GPa, we achieved the minimum time-to-detonation, about 12 ns, where the time-to-detonation is controlled by fundamental molecular processes. We demonstrated the reproducibility of our detonations and showed that they had the same properties as in bomb-sized charges: our detonation velocity, von Neumann spike and Chapman-Jouguet pressures, temperatures, and reaction zone lengths were the same as in bomb-sized charges. Being able to trigger realistic reproducible detonations from a short pulse makes it possible to investigate molecular and fluid dynamics in the detonation by measuring transient responses in real time. Lastly, we found that it took 6 ns for the temperature to reach 3430 K. The high pressure was observed at about 8 ns, when there was a volume explosion to nearly twice the von Neumann spike pressure before settling down to a steady detonation .},
doi = {10.1063/1.5043540},
journal = {Journal of Applied Physics},
number = 7,
volume = 124,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {8}
}

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Works referenced in this record:

Shock Initiation of Detonation in Liquid Explosives
journal, January 1961

  • Campbell, A. W.; Davis, W. C.; Travis, J. R.
  • Physics of Fluids, Vol. 4, Issue 4, Article No. 498
  • DOI: 10.1063/1.1706353

Modeling detonation waves in nitromethane
journal, December 2011