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Effect of Pre Existing Defects on Fracture of Electromagnetically Accelerated Projectiles Comparison of Simulations and Experiments 2014 Procedia Engineering

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ScienceDirect

Procedia Engineering 86 (2014) 732 737

Electromagnetically Accelerated Projectiles: Comparison of

Simulations and Experiments

S Madhavan*, S. Pahari, C.D. Sijoy, V. Mehra, S. Chaturvedi and IPF Team

Computational Analysis Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre,

Autonagar, Visakhapatnam 530 012, India

*

E-mail ID : madhavan73@gmail.com

Abstract

Induction coil gun uses electromagnetic forces to accelerate metallic tubular projectiles for impact studies. It consists of a helical

coil and a cylindrical projectile placed coaxially with the coil. Electromagnetic flux linkage between the coil and the projectile

sets up axial and radial forces on the projectile. The axial force accelerates the projectile out of the coil, while the radial force

leads to pinching. In certain experiments, projectiles are non-uniformly pinched and undergo plastic buckling. This is manifested

in longitudinal cracks that degrade system efficiency. These cracks cannot be handled in a R-Z axisymmetric model. Hence we

have developed a composite model consisting of MHD R-Z (axisymmetric) and 2D-Hydrodynamic X-Y (plane geometry)

models to study deformation and longitudinal cracking. Our study predicts that an initial perturbation in projectile thickness

along the direction can grow and lead to localization of plastic strains causing longitudinal cracking.

2014

2014The

TheAuthors.

Authors.Published

Publishedby

byElsevier

ElsevierLtd.

Ltd.This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research.

Peer-review under responsibility of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research

Keywords: projectile fracture, electromagnetic pinching, plastic buckling, strain localization

1. Introduction

Induction coil guns have been used to accelerate metallic projectiles to velocities of a few hundred meter/s

[1, 2]. Figure 1 shows a schematic of one design of an induction coil gun. The discharge of a charged capacitor

through the coil sets up time-varying flux linkage with the projectile. This induces time-varying eddy currents that

vary through the projectile length and also as a function of depth through the projectile thickness. The interaction

of these eddy currents with the magnetic field produces axial and radial electromagnetic forces. The axial force

tends to accelerate the projectile out of the coil, while the radial force leads to pinching. The eddy currents lead to

non-uniform joule heating of the projectile, in turn affecting the spatio-temporal variation of its electrical resistivity.

1877-7058 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research

doi:10.1016/j.proeng.2014.11.092

S. Madhavan et al. / Procedia Engineering 86 (2014) 732 737 733

Due to heating the mechanical strength of the projectile is degraded leading to heavy radial pinching.

Pinching affects the efficiency of the system in two ways. Firstly, it reduces the magnetic flux linkage between the

projectile and the coil. Secondly, heavy pinching has been found, in our experiments, to produce longitudinal cracks

on the projectile. Azimuthal currents are interrupted at crack locations, which reduces the net axial acceleration of

the projectile. Thus it is necessary to understand the conditions under which cracking occurs, and to suggest

methods to eliminate cracking. This is best done through simulations. We report in this paper our computational

study on the radial pinch/deformation of the projectile and associated longitudinal crack/buckling.

2. Computational Model

developed a composite model, consisting of a 2D R-Z model (cylindrical symmetry), followed by a 2D X-Y model

(plane geometry). Our axisymmetric two-dimensional (2D) MHD model [3] has already been validated against in-

house coil gun experiments. The MHD model is self-consistently coupled to a circuit solver that evolves coil current

and capacitor discharge voltage as functions of time. Electromagnetic coupling and forces are calculated in 2D

axisymmetric R-Z plane. Time varying electromagnetic forces and joule heating at various radial and axial

computational cells on the projectile are recorded from this 2D-MHD model. These are then used in the 2D X-Y

plane hydrodynamic model.

A cross-sectional (R-Z cylindrical plane) view of the coil gun is shown in figure 1. Cylindrical symmetry

makes it sufficient to model only the portion above the symmetry axis. Current flows through the coil which are

assumed to be set of circular rings whose cross section is shown in the figure 1. The projectile (marked as Al

armature in figure 1) is placed coaxial with the coil. For a coil gun system, the electromagnetic force on the

projectile carrying eddy currents has both axial and radial components. The instantaneous force on the projectile and

therefore its instantaneous acceleration can be calculated by knowing the current density distribution through the

projectile and the magnetic field throughout the domain. These, in turn, require the calculation of instantaneous coil

current, which comes from a circuit solver coupled to the MHD solver. Details of the circuit solver are not included

here since the focus of this paper is on the mechanical fracture of the projectile.

The code uses appropriate equations of state for the Aluminium (Al) projectile and the copper (Cu) coil.

For the problem reported here we used Johnson-Cook (JC) [4] model for dynamic strength calculations. It takes care

of the dynamic mechanical properties due to strain hardening, thermal softening and high strain-rate deformation.

Our 2D-MHD R-Z code gives the evolution of radial inward deformation all along the length of the

projectile. The extent of radial pinch varies as we move along the axial direction. Since 2D computational domain is

computationally discretized in both axial and radial directions, we know time varying radial forces at each of these

discretized computational grids. For our study, we have chosen four axial locations marked as Z1, Z2, Z3 and Z4 in

Figure 1. For these four locations, the time varying electromagnetic forces are recorded as functions of radial

734 S. Madhavan et al. / Procedia Engineering 86 (2014) 732 737

position. Since the model is axisymmetric, it assumes uniform radial deformation along direction. So, it is

necessary to model the radial deformation in X-Y plane geometry as described below.

The computational domain covers the X-Y plane. The time history of radial forces obtained from the model

described in Sec. 2.1 are interpolated in time at respective radial and axial locations. For a given R-Z location, these

forces are applied at all locations, using appropriate X- and Y-components. This is only approximate, since

projectile deformation in the X-Y plane is not properly accounted for here. However, we expect the approximation

to be reasonable until heavy deformation or fracture occurs. Since our idea is to predict the trend of damage / failure,

these results certainly will help us to know the safe or unsafe regime of the projectile from damage, up to a

reasonable extent. With time varying forces through the radial thickness of the projectile, the system evolves hydro-

dynamically and the projectile deforms due to the radial inwards forces.

We have used the Bao-Wierzbicki (BW) [5] damage model for our simulations reported here. This model

describes fracture locus as a function of stress triaxiality. For any location on the projectile, whenever the

cumulative plastic strain exceeds the limit prescribed by the fracture locus at the instantaneous stress triaxiality, the

material is said to be fractured at that location. The BW fracture locus for Al-6061 has been obtained from [6].

Using 2D MHD code as described in Sec 2, simulation was performed for an aluminium (6061-T6)

projectile with 2 mm radial thickness, 50 mm length, with an outer diameter = 24 mm. The coil used for simulation

is made up of copper (circular cross section, 3.2 mm diameter), 52 mm axially long, 28.6 mm in diameter, with

suitable potting and reinforcement.

The projectile is initially placed at Di = 26 mm (Fig.1). Prior to projectile fabrication, material properties

such as tensile strength, yield strength and % of elongation were tested as per ASTM B557 (test methods) and were

found to match specifications of 6061-T6 as per ASTM B221 standards. The coil gun was operated with capacitance

C = 356 F at a charging voltage = 6 kV. This yielded a peak value of current of 55 kA. The projectile, as it moves

axially, also experiences a radially inward force (J X Bz), due to the induced azimuthal current (J) and the axial

magnetic field (Bz). This can cause non-uniform radial deformation. Also, the deformation causes a loss of flux

linkage with the coil, which in turn affects the axial velocity.

For a 2 mm thick projectile, the simulated final shape of the projectile compared well with experiment.

Substantial radial pinch of ~4 mm, extending up to an axial length of ~22 mm, is predicted and that was in good

agreement with experimentally obtained projectile (Fig.2).

However some deviations are also observed. The projectiles recovered from our experiments show not just

pinching but longitudinal cracks for nearly 16 mm at the rear end. Since this model assumes axisymmetry,

longitudinal cracks cannot be predicted. Thus we need to perform simulations in the X-Y plane, as discussed in the

following section.

S. Madhavan et al. / Procedia Engineering 86 (2014) 732 737 735

predicted by simulation (bottom) & experimentally obtained (top)

Initially, the projectile was assumed to be perfectly axisymmetric. Hydrodynamic evolution of the projectile

in X-Y plane resulted in uniform radial pinch all along direction. We chose four axial locations (Z1, Z2, Z3 & Z4

shown in Fig. 1), located at axial distances from the left end of the projectile of 0, 8, 13 & 18 mm respectively.

The time-varying inner and outer radii at Z1 obtained from X-Y planar code are shown in Fig. 3, along with

the same obtained from 2D-MHD code. We observe the extent of radial pinch obtained from the X-Y code is higher

than that of MHD code. This is because, in the MHD code, each axial segment is affected by the material strength of

its neighbourhood, which is obviously not included in the X-Y code. It may be noted that the final shape obtained by

the MHD code matches well with experimental results. This means that the extent of radial pinching along the

length of the projectile is reasonably predicted by MHD code.

Figure 3. Inner (Rin) and Outer ( Rot)radii varying in time for R-Z

) simulations

and X-Y(R-)

Though our X-Y code shows larger radial movement, it suffices for getting the information on the

possibility of projectile fracture. It is observed from R-Z code that radial pinch stops almost when the inner surface

is pinched about 6 mm. From X-Y code simulation, it was observed that around 40 s, the inner surface reaches 6

736 S. Madhavan et al. / Procedia Engineering 86 (2014) 732 737

mm. If projectile shows no sign of fracture till 40 s in X-Y simulation, it is unlikely to get fractured.

Figure4. Simulation: Projectile Shape (in X-Y plane) with 20 m initial roughness

In some experiments, the projectiles were found to develop longitudinal cracks (Fig.5).

To model this, we introduced a sinusoidal perturbation on the inner surface of the projectile along the direction

with amplitudes of 20, 50 & 100 m. We assumed the largest possible wavelength along the inner circumference of

the projectile, to simulate worst-case effects.

Figure 5. Shapes of experimentally obtained projectiles. Longitudinally cracked

projectiles (top) along with un-cracked but radially pinched projectiles (bottom)

For an initial amplitude of 20 m, simulations predicted no possible fracture in the projectile for all the four

axial locations ( Z1, Z2, Z3 and Z4) chosen. But non-uniform radial pinch along , has been predicted. The shape of

S. Madhavan et al. / Procedia Engineering 86 (2014) 732 737 737

the projectile by the time the inner layer crosses radius 6 mm, from the X-Y code is shown in figure 4. This radius is

chosen, since R-Z code predicted no radial pinch beyond this radius, which was experimentally confirmed.

For an initial amplitude of 50 m, simulations predicted possible fracture at axial locations Z1, Z2 & Z3,

but not at Z4. Z3 represents a length about 14 mm of the projectile from left side end. In our experiments, operation

produced projectiles with a longitudinal crack only up to 16 mm, although radial pinch is seen up to 22 mm. Hence

fracture predicted up to Z3 is in good agreement with the experimental result (Figure 5, longitudinally cracked

projectiles). Figure 6 shows the cross sectional shape of the projectiles predicted by the code at these four axial

locations (Z1 to Z4) along with location of fractured cells predicted via BW locus. The detailed simulation results

that relate the mechanical failure to localization of plastic strains will be presented elsewhere.

Figure6. Simulation: Projectile Shape (X-Y plane) with 50 m initial amplitude of perturbation. For Z1, Z2

and Z3, fractured cells are shown in red.

4. Conclusion

Simulations have been performed to understand the mechanical failure / fracture in metallic projectiles

driven by a coil gun. The hollow Al-6061 cylindrical projectiles suffer non-uniform pinching and in some cases, fail

by plastic buckling and develop longitudinal cracks. Simulations are done with initially perturbed inner surface and

it is found that if the amplitude of initial perturbation was greater than 20 m, the experimentally observed non-

uniform pinching and longitudinal cracks are reproduced in the simulations. Thus, the initial perturbation in

axisymmetry caused by thickness variation of the hollow cylinders along -direction is sufficient to destabilize the

projectiles in a coil gun.

References

2. S. Pahari, I. V. V. Suryaprasad, N. Shiv, S. Madhavan, C.D. Sijoy and S. Chaturvedi, AIP Conf. Proc. Vol.

1349 ( 2011), p 483

3. S. Madhavan, C. D. Sijoy, S. Pahari and S. Chaturvedi, AIP Conf. Proc. Vol. 1349 (2011) p 467.

4. G.R. Johnson and W.H. Cook, in Proc. 7th Int. Symp. on Ballistics, (1983), p 541

5. Y. Bao and T. Wierzbicki, Int. J. Mech. Sci., Vol 46 (2004), p 81

6. X. Teng, T. Wierzbicki and M. Huang, Intl. J. on Impact Engg., Vol 32 (2008), p 870

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