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Published by: b.banerjee.nz6800 on Sep 26, 2008
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06/16/2009

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Micromechanics-based determination of effectiveelastic properties of polymer bonded explosives
Biswajit Banerjee
 
and Daniel O. Adams
 Dept. of Mech. Eng., Univ. of Utah, 50 S Central Campus Dr., Salt Lake City, UT 84112.
Abstract
Polymer bonded explosives are particulate composites containing a high volume fractionof stiff elastic explosive particles in a compliant viscoelastic binder. Since the volume frac-tion of particles can be greater than 0.9 and the modulus contrast greater than 20 000,rigorous bounds on the elastic moduli of the composite are an order of magnitude differentfrom experimentally determined values. Analytical solutions are also observed to provideinaccurate estimates of effective elastic properties. Direct finite element approximations of effective properties require large computational resources because of the complexity of themicrostructure of these composites. An alternative approach, the recursive cells method(RCM) is also explored in this work. Results show that the degree of discretization used infinite element models of PBXs can significantly affect the estimated Young’s moduli.
Key words:
Effective properties. High volume fraction. High modulus contrast.
¡
Corresponding author: Fax: 801-585-9826, email:
banerjee@eng.utah.edu
Preprint submitted to Elsevier Science 14 July 200
 
1 Introduction
Mechanical properties of polymer bonded explosives (PBXs) have traditionallybeen determined experimentally. However, the hazardous nature of these materialsmakes mechanical testing expensive. With improvement in computational power,numerical determination of mechanical properties of PBXs has become feasible.Elastic properties of a composite can be obtained using micromechanics basedmethods if the elastic properties of the components are known from moleculardynamics simulations. In this work, rigorous bounds, effective medium approx-imations and finite element approximations of elastic properties are explored. Aless computationally intensive approach, called the recursive cells method (RCM)is also investigated. The properties predicted by these approaches are comparedwith experimental data for PBX 9501.
2 PBX materials and PBX 9501
PBXs are particulate composites composed of explosive particles and a rubberybinder. PBX 9501 contains 92% by volume of HMX (high melting explosive) par-ticles and 8% by volume of binder. The HMX particles are monoclinic and lin-ear elastic. The experimentally determined value of Young’s modulus of HMXis around 15.3 GPa [1] while that from molecular dynamics (MD) simulations isaround 17.7 GPa [2]. The Poisson’s ratio from experiments is 0.32 and that fromMD simulations is 0.21. The binder is a 1:1 mixture of the rubber Estane 5703and a plasticizer (BDNPA/F). The mechanical behavior of the binder is strain rateand temperature dependent. As a result, the response of PBX 9501 also depends onstrain rate and temperature. At or near room temperature and at low strain rate, the2
 
Young’s modulus of the binder is around 0.7 MPa and the Poisson’s ratio is 0.49.The Young’s modulus of PBX 9501 under these conditions is around 1 GPa and thePoisson’s ratio is 0.35. The modulus contrast between HMX and the binder is 15000 to 20 000 under these conditions.
3 Micromechanics approaches
3.1 Third-order bounds
Third-order bounds [5] on the effective properties of two-component polydisperseparticulate composites can be written as
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(4)where,
is a volume fraction,
¢
is a bulk modulus and
$
is a shear modu-lus. The subscripts p, b, and c denote the particle, binder, and composite respec-tively. The superscripts U and L denote the upper and lower bounds respectively.For any quantity
B
,
¤B¥£B
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p
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b
,
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p
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p
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, and
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p
B
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. The quantities
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b
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. Also,
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and
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.3

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